[FOLLOWED] WARLORD Balance Discussion

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

This topic contains 375 replies, has 42 voices, and was last updated by  Mourioche 7 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #136261

    @ Garresh, that design was predicated on Warlords being able to very quickly get out fast Cavalry and Horse Archers, but the research slowdown that extended the tier 1 window of utility (which made people say Wisps and Assassins were OP), combined with the increased costs of Warhalls and Tier 3 buildings, meant that the early game Warlord weakness now got amplified.

    Besides, the assumption seems to be that the WL would get something akin to the other Scouts. At the risk of drawing down the wrath of Sikbok, let’s just say that is *not* the case.

    Don’t ask me anymore.

    In the original beta, Warlord could go toe to toe with Druid and you’d have a nail biting game. I know because I had that nailbiting game, real back and forth with Fenraellis.

    That was default settings.

    Try that game now, between 2 players of equal skill, and tell me honestly that the Warlord has a fighting chance.

    I played Druid against Ayenara as a Warlord, and wiped the floor with him. Now we all know how good a player he is…

    #136272

    Fenraellis
    Member

    I played Druid against Ayenara as a Warlord, and wiped the floor with him. Now we all know how good a player he is…

    To be fair, that does involve circumstantial evidence(luck of the RNG for you vs Ayenara, if nothing else), but I can acknowledge the point nonetheless.

    #136273

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>BLOODYBATTLEBRAIN wrote:</div>
    I played Druid against Ayenara as a Warlord, and wiped the floor with him. Now we all know how good a player he is…

    To be fair, that does involve circumstantial evidence(luck of the RNG for you vs Ayenara, if nothing else), but I can acknowledge the point nonetheless.

    Actually no. He had a better starting position.

    #136381

    alf978
    Member

    Warlord has two weaknesses : no summonable and floating scout, and only physical damage.

    Well, that’s not quite a complete assessment, if we were to go back a couple of pages in this thread, we can add sub-par capabilities of the dealing with Concealment, (WL is the only class I believe which doesn’t rely on support units, and doesn’t even have access to the Truesight Hero upgrade). And we’ve discussed the ubiquitous nature of the additional concealment options for the AD and the Rogue. (And I’d like to say, you’ve agreed on that point as well Bouh, as you riled pretty hard against the MH getting Truesight as a metal upgrade, or even the Hero upgrade as a band-aid option) And a scout unit/ability won’t do much to deter concealment/invisibility.

    That gives 3 of the remaining, current, 5 opposing classes a built-in counter capability right off the bat. Invisible strike teams are quite a pain, and can crimp your development pretty hard. (Also, I wouldn’t’ have included the Sorcerer initially on that list, but the Thread in the General Discussion portion seemed quite convincing that that’s a viable strategy option relative early)

    And while the economy benefits of the WL are great, there still subject to things aligning properly, which makes it circumstantial during early game, possibly into mid-game. IF it fires on all cylinders, great, but if it doesn’t… well, you get the picture.
    This also makes it subject to disruption by opposing players, strategy – counter strategy… right? 😀

    Let’s just wait how things play out first, after all, not all scouts are build equal.
    Let’s wait to call for a nerf, unitl it’s proven to be unbalanced. (It’s all just conjecture and speculative at the moment anyway) 🙂

    #136412

    Bouh
    Member

    Well, I indeed forgot about invisibility. But this is again situational in the sense that you can have it or not. And archdruid invisibility is not the one of the rogue. And I hope the invisibility of the sorcerer will get nerfed hard.

    What I’m affraid of is that the warlord I think is not so far from being good, and I think scouting is the only thing that prevent him to rampage. So giving him a scout I’m affraid would through him right through the top in power level, and he will then only lack summons to be crazy insane.

    At least I feel like I can fight a sorcerer by pressuring his mana and CP ; same for an archdruid ; I know that if I can scout a rogue I will deny him most of his power ; and a theocrat or dreadnaught can rather easily get outmanœuvered. But for a warlord with a scout, the only *strategy* I see is “rely on your own strength, and don’t let him grow, but nothing will help you for that”.

    In some way it’s fitting for a warlord, but I’m really scared. After we give the warlord a scout, IMO the only things that will make or break him will be unit to unit balance and all the things people monger about on these forums, but strategy itself will be helpless.

    #137124

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    Does the Warlock REALLY have a Scouting Problem? I mean, you need to build Scouts with Raise Militia (quasi-summoning, not using City production) anyway. If you have a couple of them, Death March every turn on one of them will actually hasten things a lot – double the range is pretty powerful, even if the Units can’t fly. And by letting the spell circle you can regain enough health to Keep going for enough turns to cover a lot of space. Some races work better than others, of course.

    So while it’s a bit more awkward, it’s effective nonetheless. Question would be, whether to change the Death March workings a bit.

    #137134

    alf978
    Member

    @Jolly Joker Well, I wanna give you props for trying to think around the problem, but I think you’ve summed it up yourself quite well, when you called it ‘awkward’.
    Your idea, basically, would rely on getting Deathmarch early, not exactly a very reliable option (sometimes it just isn’t’ available until much too late in the game for early scouting)

    Not to mention very inefficient in research and cp…

    I know it’s a mother of a thread, but if you were to go back some pages there are some great ideas and extensive discussion of how to address and more importantly, as it relates to your idea, the other utility that you could gain from a dedicated scout, beyond just moving back the fog of war.
    I.e. Treasure pick ups, Anti-scouting to deter opponent scouts, in-a-pinch reinforcing away from bases, harassing lightly defended towns (almost all other classes’ scouts are floating/flying = wall loose some of their appeal. No such luck for irregulars, not even wall climbing) suiciding to weaken defenders, etc., etc.

    Your proposal just mitigates the very, very basic function of a scout.
    And it feels rather really rough to me at that…

    My guess is, that often it’s not noticeable how useful and how much you miss having a scout until you play without access to one, or vice versa. (That’s just my speculation)

    Personally, I resolved myself to try to work-around the issue by shooting straight for prime good, EQ, and hope for a wyvern and/or a gryphon to offset this handicap. Or hope for a Hunter from a Spring of Life node… That and fast-tech to MH’s.

    Again, kudos for trying to come at it from a different angle, but I’m just not quite convinced by your argument.

    From the different innuendos, I’m guessing (and hoping) there may be a passive ability that WL player may look forward to with the next patch/DLC. It’ll be interesting to see how that changes the dynamic of the WL early game/scouting conundrum…

    Maybe Bouh’s fears will be substantiated, though I hope not, or may it’ll make the WL’s early game a bit more … resilient? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

    #137135

    alf978
    Member

    At least I feel like I can fight a sorcerer by pressuring his mana and CP ; same for an archdruid ;

    I think you hit the nail on the head with that one.
    If you’re confronted with a WL, wouldn’t you apply the same principle, only instead of mana and CP, you would focus on gold income & research.
    My gut feeling is that the other classes’ scouts will be still more versatile, and better at their job than what the WL will get.

    And speaking of focus, pun intended :), if you see a WL town with a Vault of Knowledge, wouldn’t that become your primary focus to deny the WL? Not just for the research, but also the Focus Chamber upgrade.
    Once he will commit to defend that, that may give you an option to harass or destroy, or take over other portions of his empire.

    WL is very city and infrastructure depended, wouldn’t it be a viable strategy to deny him that?

    Just a thought…

    #137176

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    No, wait. Using Death March isn’t a “proposal”. It’s probably MEANT to be used, especially now with some rules changed. And I tend to get it as starting spell.
    Double movement rate is pretty nice and will indeed allow you to grab a lot of goodies fast.
    And as a Warlord you have another advantage: no matter which units you use as Scouts, they are pretty good.
    There is a lot you can make up for with the specialization picks. If you pick AIR, for example, 220 Tech will give you the Bird, and while the early game is over at that stage, you will gain massive Anti-Scout capabilities. You can also pick Fire: The Doggies are quite good. Or, if you go for Continents or especially Islands, Water Adept with Baby Krakens will allow to effectively build “Subs with Anti-Air” capability.

    Now, true – it needs thinking, you need “help of the map” and it may indeed be awkward. In a serious game to prove something, you’ll probably have to go with Draconians because of their healing, but I wouldn’t shy away from the others either.

    See, the thing is, if Death March would work different – say, gain 50% movement, lose 25% Health – I don’t think we’d even have this discussion; but then it was a no-brainer, because your initial irregulars would lose only what they regenerate, more or less. I mean, look at the spell: it’s cheap, it comes early, it’s in the “start menu” – however, you would loathe to use it on a stack in order to fight in the same turn, except when you reach a hex that regenerates HPs immediately or you have a spell you can cast to do that from specialization. Your better units lose a lot of HPs and pay a high price, but your small units don’t lose that much compared with what they regenerate.
    So, no. Warlord doesn’t have a “problem”. Warlord just have to do things differently in that regard.
    And if you consider how many possibilities the Warlord has to burn both money and mana – they clearly can make use of everything. Which is also their problem: you really need to pick what you are doing, because you can’t do all and especially not at the same time.

    #137188

    Dagoth Ur
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Bouh wrote:</div>
    At least I feel like I can fight a sorcerer by pressuring his mana and CP ; same for an archdruid ;

    I think you hit the nail on the head with that one.<br>
    If you’re confronted with a WL, wouldn’t you apply the same principle, only instead of mana and CP, you would focus on gold income & research.<br>
    My gut feeling is that the other classes’ scouts will be still more versatile, and better at their job than what the WL will get.

    And speaking of focus, pun intended :) , if you see a WL town with a Vault of Knowledge, wouldn’t that become your primary focus to deny the WL? Not just for the research, but also the Focus Chamber upgrade.<br>
    Once he will commit to defend that, that may give you an option to harass or destroy, or take over other portions of his empire.

    WL is very city and infrastructure depended, wouldn’t it be a viable strategy to deny him that?

    Just a thought…

    A defender is always at a disadvantage. Sure hitting cities is a good strategy (it always is). But a Warlord that knows which city you’re going to hit will be a hard target (especially when he has Warbreeds and Death March). You can’t do that much damage to gold income by pressuring (only the happiness bonus on ONE city) without taking a city, while you can have a great effect on mana because it’s capped per turn by casting points. The leader uses the greatest amount of mana and both Summoning and Spells depend on it. A good Warlord will be able to produce units in a few cities ànd be able to cast spells; you can’t really fight him during a couple of turns and hope this will result in less units because he has to cast spells a lot.

    Also: a good Warlord by mid-end game has enough troops to defend ànd to attack and he knows that his only weakness is upkeep/loosing cities. And if he gets the Global Assault this will just be easier.

    The only thing holding a Warlord back right now is the lack of good scouts;
    – Slower early game expansion for not finding treasure chests and cities as fast as others, which might even lead to fewer troops early game.
    – Not knowing what the other player is producing due to the slower scouts; it’s harder to know what to do yourself.
    – Less knowledge about the other player’s movements because scouts reach their targets slower and the scouts are easier targets for not being able to fly and having a smaller vision range.

    In fact, the only way your tactic of taking Warlord cities works is primarily because he lacks good scouts. If he has enough information it would rather fail than succeed.

    #137202

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I somewhat disagree with the Warlord Scout analysis.
    Arch Druid will get flying Scouts with Eldritch Animal only which is rather late, compared to the rest.
    Dreadnought gets an early FLOATING scout which CAN traverse everything, but at a slower rate than the flyers.
    Rogues get Grimbeak Crows, arguably the best Scouts (10 hex movement everywhere, Forestry, Night Vision, First Strike).
    Sorcerers get Wisp, also a FLOATER, but with Forestry and Wetland Walking – it’s better than the Spy Drone, but marginally so.
    Lastly, Theocrat gets the Cherub, generally 1 hex slower than the Grimbeak, Night vision as well.

    Now, for Warlord, you don’t want to build Scouts in town, blocking production (although you might produce one initially to get Scouting going), so you will Raise a couple Militias, that is, Irregulars of the race you picked. If you perceive Scouting a big Weakness of Warlord, then the Explorer specialization will work wonders for you: for 60 Research you get Scout Training, which will give your Irregs +1 Vision Range. Off the Beaten Path, for 120 Research, will bestow your Irregs with Mountaineering, Forestry and Wetland Walking, and lastly Trail Running will give your Irregulars +8 Movement for 220 Research.
    This alone will make your basic Race Irregulars pretty good Scouts.
    Of course race pick will influence this, too. Dwarves, for example will make Mountains quite passable. Draconians will make casting Death March on your Hatchlings a pretty good way to deal with things. And so on.
    But once you have the Monster Hunter you have the ideal Scout, since they are Irregulars as well and have Swimming. Get all 3 Explorer Techs, and your Monster Hunters will be Monster Scouts, that you can bring to 80 Mps with Death March, which is a lot.

    So the thing is this: Warlord doesn’t get a good scout on a silver platter, like the Rogue – they CAN, however, work for it.
    The real problem is – and I wrote about that in the Balance thread – that you are dependent on the random “draw” of tech skills – starting techs as well as the order and appearance of techs in the research book, because you can’t work for something when you don’t get the opportunity.

    Which means, the ACTUAL problem is a bigger dependence on random factors which sometimes work and sometimes not, whereas Sorcerer/Rogues will either start with their Scouting unit or have them in their Tech book. Which in turn means, that strategies that need a combination of techs to work are at a disadvantage due to tech randomness.

    Which is, what should be addressed, since it influences a lot of other things as well.

    #137208

    Dagoth Ur
    Member

    Arch Druids get Hunters, which can swim, get forestry, mountaineering, wetland walking, arctic walking and forest concealment.

    And I agree that Exploration is able to overcome this disadvantage and that Monster Hunters are pretty nice scouts if you do, and I also agree that this might not work because of how the tech tree works. However, this forces you into using a Specialization that, like you said, might not even work as early as you’d like, maybe well into midgame. So I don’t see how you disagree with the analysis because your points even support what I said before.

    And for the record: I’m not saying Warlords need floating or flying scouts. What I’m saying is that I agree with Bouh (and disagree with alf978); a Warlord getting better scouts would make it one of the top classes since a scout is the only thing keeping them back early game, making them managable (rather weak even).

    #137214

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    But then we aren’t disagreeing at all, because then in fact Scouting is the NECESSARY weakness to keep Warlord on par.

    (Hunters have to be town-produced and are useful fighters early; you can of course use your town production as scouts and build armies of Summons, but a Gryphon or Wyvern is a pretty GREAT scout.)

    However, the actual point remains standing. Suppose you HAD control over your Tech. In that case it was your decision whether to invest into overcoming the scouting deficiency or not. If you DID invest into that, you’d obviously not be able to invest into other things.
    So actually there are two different “payments” involved:
    1) Much higher effort to get to a satisfactory Scouting solution (delaying other important stuff, since you cannot do everything at the same time);
    2) Uncertainty with everything that needs a combination of Techs (you may invest into something that doesn’t pay off, because you don’t get the second or third tech you’d need to pull it off).

    Which STILL means, that it’s necessary to somehow make the Tech Tree more PREDICTABLE at least. Because, if the Tech Tree is too unpredictable, all solutions that need a combination of techs are pretty risky.

    #137220

    Bouh
    Member

    WL is very city and infrastructure depended, wouldn’t it be a viable strategy to deny him that?

    Sorcerer is just as dependant on mana than warlord is on gold. And warlord has no problem defending his cities with call militia. All classes are actualy dependant on their cities.

    I once fought a sorcerer with a rogue : I got incite revolt early, so I took as much mana as I could, and I plundered the cities of the sorcerer. Between the need to disjunct, the hit on his economy he suffered, and the need for more units summoned, I completely stoped his growth. Because he only one CP pool to do all the things he needed. A warlord can produce his units in any city, but more importantly he can produce them in several cities at the same time.

    #137248

    alf978
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>alf978 wrote:</div>
    WL is very city and infrastructure depended, wouldn’t it be a viable strategy to deny him that?

    Sorcerer is just as dependant on mana than warlord is on gold. And warlord has no problem defending his cities with call militia. All classes are actualy dependant on their cities.

    Yeah, I could have wrote that a lot better. What I meant by “the WL is very City dependent” (and you’re right all classes are), but the WL and DN are, imho, more so than the other classes since almost all of their reinforcements would be derived from their cities. Sorcerer & AD can summon on the spot, AD, Rouge & Theo can charm/convert on their way to supplement units and replace losses.

    That gives those classes more freedom and flexibility, and better power projection than the WL (to paraphrase BBB).
    And let me state this again, whatever the WL will get in scouting unit/ability, my strong suspicion is, that it will still be on the low end of the spectrum. I.e., the other classes will still win the the Intelligence war. (The heated discussion about cherub vs crow, makes me think Triumph wouldn’t want to go down that road again…)

    To me that means, that if you know where the WL stacks are, and where his cities are, that gives the opposing player power to hit his supply lines. (You can almost draw a straight line from the city to his stacks to figure out how the WL will link his troops to replace losses or add more units). That’s exploitable know-how.

    My personal feeling is that if the WL will gain a scout, most players will try to expand faster than before. That’s a vulnerability. Having a scout will come with some drawbacks..
    I guess a better way of putting it would be what BBB or Drax/Chrys mentioned, that, ideally, a scout or other early game enhancement, would give the WL a better chance to survive into mid-game or late game. Make the class more resilient.

    My fervent hope is, that would translate into a greater level of gamesmanship, people will play as the Wl or against him (to better illustrate my point), and start pressing his gold income, deny him research, exploit his limited ‘cross-country’ mobility (barring racial attributes), vulnerability to concealment, his low resistance stats on his class units, physical damage only, etc.
    In other words, add more complexity and higher level of strategy. More cat and mouse scenarios… to put yet another way, more FUN 🙂

    And let me add one last thing Bouh, I honestly think you raise a lot of valid concerns, truly!
    But I just come at it from the standpoint, that there’s so much potential to be gained if we at least try this route.
    And should it turn out that you will be proven right, well then, my hat off to you sir. But wouldn’t we just be one patch away from letting the pendulum swing back to where we were before or at least correct itself somewhat?

    Tl;dr, You may very well be right,… but I don’t think so! 🙂
    At least I don’t think the consequences will be as dire as you make them out to be. And there just stands so much to be gained, that I think/hope we just need to at least try, and let the meta settle first…

    Okay, I’m gonna get off my soap box now! 😀

    #137258

    Bouh
    Member

    Yeah, I could have wrote that a lot better. What I meant by “the WL is very City dependent” (and you’re right all classes are), but the WL and DN are, imho, more so than the other classes since almost all of their reinforcements would be derived from their cities. Sorcerer & AD can summon on the spot, AD, Rouge & Theo can charm/convert on their way to supplement units and replace losses.

    For this I thought about a better word IMO : explosiveness. The warlord and dreadnaught, as production classes, rely more on their economy than on their cities, but of course cities are the main stapple of economy. They don’t fall when you pressure their cities, they fall if they can’t develope themselves. Because a late game warlord doesn’t more than two or three cities with the appropriate building to unleash his might. And in late game, if you don’t have a lot more than these classes, you will have a hard time fighting them.

    And should it turn out that you will be proven right, well then, my hat off to you sir. But wouldn’t we just be one patch away from letting the pendulum swing back to where we were before or at least correct itself somewhat?

    Well, I don’t decide anything, the devs do.

    But I really think many people underestimate intelligence value, both in what it can give to the warlord and in what he miss currently.

    Summoning is fun and rather powerful in early game, but by mid game this is mostly irrelevant compared to what intelligence gave you.

    IMO if it wasn’t intelligence that matter, then a warlord with fire adept would be on par with summoning classes.

    #137263

    alf978
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>alf978 wrote:</div>
    Yeah, I could have wrote that a lot better. What I meant by “the WL is very City dependent” (and you’re right all classes are), but the WL and DN are, imho, more so than the other classes since almost all of their reinforcements would be derived from their cities. Sorcerer & AD can summon on the spot, AD, Rouge & Theo can charm/convert on their way to supplement units and replace losses.

    For this I thought about a better word IMO : explosiveness. The warlord and dreadnaught, as production classes, rely more on their economy than on their cities, but of course cities are the main stapple of economy. They don’t fall when you pressure their cities, they fall if they can’t develope themselves. Because a late game warlord doesn’t more than two or three cities with the appropriate building to unleash his might. And in late game, if you don’t have a lot more than these classes, you will have a hard time fighting them.

    Okay, I don’t quite agree with you on that. Yes only a few cities are required to build the bulk of your forces, but the other cities then would be producing gold/mana/research. You take that away, and your stalling the ‘producing’ cities from churning out an endless supply of minions… 🙂
    Especially in the latter stages of the game, when all/most neutral sites/nodes have been cleared, and there’s very little opportunity to subsidize your economy, beyond simply cities and forts.

    Well, I don’t decide anything, the devs do.

    On this one, I don’t quite follow your train of thought either.
    Of course the developers decide. 🙂
    I guess I was inferring that if your predictions will be validated, there will be a chorus of other users joining the impending pitchfork and torches mob of “WL OP, nerf or eliminate scout’. Or something to that effect. 🙂
    And the Devs, to their credit, have proven themselves to be very responsive if the community collectively decides that something is out of whack…
    Ergo, we may only be a second patch away from things ‘normalizing’, for a lack of a better word, should that be the case.

    Again, I wouldn’t think that would actually happen, but you never know…

    Summoning is fun and rather powerful in early game, but by mid game this is mostly irrelevant compared to what intelligence gave you.

    Again, not quite when you consider the evolve mechanic of lesser shadow stalkers (not strictly a summons), some of the AD animals, SLE, etc.
    Well, I guess that’s just my opinion.
    And YES, intel remains valuable throughout the various game stages. Though I would argue it drops off some in the late game, and you’ll have reliable access to flying units at that point, which would lessen the importance and reliance of the early scout unit. (I.e. it’s power curve drops, not making obsolete, but loosing some of its appeal.)
    Which is another reason I think it will be okay…
    I guess you could say I’m an optimist. 🙂

    #137288

    Garresh
    Member

    This probably doesn’t belong here, but with all the discussion on mana economy vs gold economy, its worth considering that the fundamental differences between mana and gold are small, but the differences between production and cp are huge. For one, there is no way to convert CP into research and development. Production is the outlet for teching and developing. This leads to the most fundamental class difference between the extremes. A warlord who wants to get an early military must pay the price in tech and development. A sorc who wants early military has no issues with developing, and is actually incentivized due to the arcane study specialization, which I’ve played with recently and decided is OP as crap. Furthermore, to increase build speed, a warlord has to stop building units to build siege workshops and stuff. To upgrade summon speed, a sorc has no such incentive to stop casting. Ultimately, I think all the sorc and warlord balance issues stem from this. Consider that dreads actually can break the mold and funnel mana into production, which makes their early game decent. And while druids can tech fast too, their summons are weak early, and hunters do the heavy lifting. Also they lack a fast and easy research amplifier.

    #137290

    alf978
    Member

    That’s a great point!

    I personally struggle with this quite often, even in SP.
    Typically I try to develop my capital to produce 1-turn Bezerkers, MH, & Priests. (And I typically achieve that pretty early with the right Moral bonuses (& humans), and luck on a few production sites. Even though it lasts only sporadically until I get the siege shop and sometimes master builders bldg even)
    But then however, as I crank out units non-stop, I feel I drop off on developing my Warhall-T3 building chain, and other buildings in general.
    So I got a hard time balancing unit production with advancing my cities and increasing research. I.e. I always tend to stall before switching up to mounted archers and phalanxes. And I always have the nagging feeling I bring my racial T3’s to late to the field…

    Anyway, haven’t quite found the right sequence to transition well into the mid-game regarding my T3’s and city development… (Because WL is so very city dependent, imo.. 🙂 )

    #137368

    Bouh
    Member

    @garresh : summoning classes still need mana to upkeep their sumons. This mana doesn’t come free. You need to build shrines and temples, and during this time you are not producing anything else.

    But I think you hit a very valid point with the production : dreadnaught with his mana fuel cells battery can increase production and probably reach the effectiveness of the summoning classes.

    Also, I don’t like how you talk about the research, because you seem to imply that everyone should research faster. But again the research needs buildings. It appears that a sorcerer can rely on summons and mana, so he can spend his gold in the labs and reach the arcane forge which in turn synergize with a stuffed hero + summons strategy. But this is forgoing other units almost completely. It’s very effective obviously, and transition rather well for the sorcerer that rely on summons and supports for a long time, but no other class would make it work. Actualy, it makes sense now that this strategy is so effective : relying on summons exclusively free you to do anything else as you please. But I’m going off topic.

    What I mean is that research is fine IMO for all classes except the sorcerer, so I would be more on the side of nerfing the sorcerer than buffing anyone else.

    #139282

    Anublet90
    Member

    This probably doesn’t belong here, but with all the discussion on mana economy vs gold economy, its worth considering that the fundamental differences between mana and gold are small, but the differences between production and cp are huge. For one, there is no way to convert CP into research and development. Production is the outlet for teching and developing. This leads to the most fundamental class difference between the extremes. A warlord who wants to get an early military must pay the price in tech and development. A sorc who wants early military has no issues with developing, and is actually incentivized due to the arcane study specialization, which I’ve played with recently and decided is OP as crap. Furthermore, to increase build speed, a warlord has to stop building units to build siege workshops and stuff. To upgrade summon speed, a sorc has no such incentive to stop casting. Ultimately, I think all the sorc and warlord balance issues stem from this. Consider that dreads actually can break the mold and funnel mana into production, which makes their early game decent. And while druids can tech fast too, their summons are weak early, and hunters do the heavy lifting. Also they lack a fast and easy research amplifier.

    This is a good post. I hadn’t thought about it all that much, but something definitely clicked while reading this.

    On another note, does anyone see the complete lack of Armor Piercing in the Warlord line-up as a bit odd? I mean, the class is wholly dependent on Physical damage, but there’s nothing to actually mitigate that disadvantage; it’s even (correct me if I’m wrong) a rare ability in the racial units. Off the top of my head I can think of Gold Medal Draconian Crusher, some Gold Medal Dwarves, and -I think- innately the Goblin Skewer? Not even Last Stand or Lion’s Courage give the ability.

    “Clever tactician” my butt.

    #139329

    Fenraellis
    Member

    it’s even (correct me if I’m wrong) a rare ability in the racial units. Off the top of my head I can think of Gold Medal Draconian Crusher, some Gold Medal Dwarves, and -I think- innately the Goblin Skewer? Not even Last Stand or Lion’s Courage give the ability.

    I believe that pretty much all(if not actually all) Pikemen get it through ranks. Also, Unicorns and Unicorn Riders(T2 Cavalry unit and Mount item, not Unicorn-riding Mounted Archers).

    A few other units here and there as well.

    For what it’s worth, in general Warlord units do above average damage, enough that the lack of Armor Piercing isn’t necessarily as relevant to them anyway. In most cases just putting them about on par with an Armored unit, and ahead against a non-Armored unit.

    #139334

    Draxynnic
    Member

    For what it’s worth, in general Warlord units do above average damage, enough that the lack of Armor Piercing isn’t necessarily as relevant to them anyway. In most cases just putting them about on par with an Armored unit, and ahead against a non-Armored unit.

    This is basically my thought as well. There are essentially two ways of dealing with armour: attacking its weaknesses (going for vulnerable locations, or employing a thing penetrating point that can more easily punch through armour but which usually does less damage to the flesh beneath) or just employing enough brute force to punch through regardless. The warlord style seems to be quite definitely the latter.

    #139351

    Totally random thought, but has anyone wondered what would happen if certain class units and skills didn’t need to be researched, but instead were unlocked by building the relevant building.

    It’s highly unlikely to happen to existing classes, but as a thought experiment, here is a new version of WL:

    WL basic building = raise militia, and training regimen on units from that city.

    WL building number 2a or 2b = berserkers, or monster Hunters.

    You can build both building if you choose.

    ETC.

    I think that for a class using this dynamic, the playstyle would be very different.

    TBH, I just used WL as a template, but I think this would work better with a class like a Warlock, with their buildings being “circles of summoning” I, II, III etc.

    #139357

    madmac
    Member

    Totally random thought, but has anyone wondered what would happen if certain class units and skills didn’t need to be researched, but instead were unlocked by building the relevant building.

    It’s highly unlikely to happen to existing classes, but as a thought experiment, here is a new version of WL:

    WL basic building = raise militia, and training regimen on units from that city.

    WL building number 2a or 2b = berserkers, or monster Hunters.

    You can build both building if you choose.

    ETC.

    I think that for a class using this dynamic, the playstyle would be very different.

    TBH, I just used WL as a template, but I think this would work better with a class like a Warlock, with their buildings being “circles of summoning” I, II, III etc.

    You’d essentially be reducing the importance of research while emphasizing city building. It’s pretty much the way the old Total War games used to work before they gradually moved to more of a research system, and it comes with the same basic issue, namely that all of your “tech” is tied to the existence of certain well established cities and you are otherwise no better off a hundred turns later then you were at the start of the game.

    Of course, what your proposing is more of a hybrid system, and arguably closer to the way TW games work currently. It would certainly emphasize rapidly building up a small number of crucial cities rather then expanding recklessly.

    It could work, but the overall trend in strategy games has been moving towards research over buildings for a reason, a lot of people may not find the resulting class very fun to play. For Age of Wonders especially you’re getting into the problem that “teching up” via building actively prevents you from building armies as opposed to the current system allowing you to do both to a much greater extent.

    Also, how many of these buildings are class unique? What happens when you take over enemy cities and they prove almost useless to you without heavy investment?

    #139360

    What happens when you take over enemy cities and they prove almost useless to you without heavy investment?

    That is already the case iirc.

    Anyway, it was a random, sideways way of considering the rng nature of the research system, and impacts therein.

    You are correct that it would be a hybrid system as the research would now be more about making your troops better, but the troops themselves would be building based.

    In any case, at the moment, to get Manticores you have to build the buildings and research the unit, so this would actually get you units faster.

    I think it *could* work but really would be better off being used as the start point for a new class.

    #139364

    Bouh
    Member

    Actualy the game already work like this. What you are suggesting is to remove the chore of researching, going back to the old way of AoW1&2. Because we already need buildings to build specific units eventhough they come in small packages.

    The question is then : is removing the mecanic of research really a good thing ? I doubt it.

    #139377

    Like I said, it was a random idea, and not a good one for existing classes.

    #139413

    Garresh
    Member

    I’m also not sure its particularly balanced. Many of the balance issues atm stem from the way that CP can’t be used to increase research and income but production can. Making class buildings unlock techs would basically swing things further in the favor of classes with summoning or dual output because they can tech even faster. On a new class it could be interesting, but it still strikes me as unbalancing and, to be honest, nit really fitting with AOW game play.

    Honestly it might be a good idea to revisit an old concept from a past game, which is converting mana or CP into research. I have no idea how to approach it, but it would somewhat shift the balance as classes with surplus mana would suddenly tech faster. Warlords would have a field day. I doubt rogues or dreads would see much benefit, since we usually enchant all our cities. Theocrats might benefit though if they don’t cherub spam, which is a double win in my book because cherub spam is an annoying crutch(like crow spam heh) and theocrats could still use some addressing.

    #139421

    Anublet90
    Member

    That sounds like an interesting mechanic for a Shadow Demon-themed class.

    “Back in my day we _____ our ____!”

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