[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, 6 months ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 121 through 150 (of 376 total)
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  • #123711

    ExNihil
    Member

    Well, I think the WL needs a proper scouting unit – nothing more and nothing less.

    I think all classes should have viable scouts. What are the functions of scouts?

    1. Exploring the map.
    2. Treasure Pickup.
    3. Spying on Enemies.
    4. Patrolling the Map and functioning as mobile watchtowers.
    5. Hunting down other scouts.
    6. Harrassing enemies by attacking ill defended forts and cities as well as hunting down vulnerable units such as Builder.
    7. Auxilary forces in combat.
    8. Suiciding on treasure sites in order to soften them.

    You will note that not all scouting units fulfill these to the same degree- Crows are the best t1 scouts at exploration and treasure pickups, are now ok anti-scout units and good harrasers as well, yet they are weak as auxliary combat forces and are bad at weakening strong treasure sites. Drones on the other hand are less apt at exploration, treasure pickups, spying and patrol, but are better at harassment (arguably), often more useful as auxilary forces and are great at softening treasure sites. I can go on and discuss all scouts in the game but I guess you guys get the point.

    Now, the WL received the Raise Militia spell as a sort of alternative for a scout. Yet this is a very bad alternative for a scout as for practically all criteria except as auxiliary combat units / suicide troops they do much much worse than the other scouts, on top of which they are maintained in gold rather than mana which cripples the WL economically in a way no other class is crippled.

    The option of giving the WL a spell that reveals some portion of the map as an alternative for scouting is very bad when compared with the functions scouting units fulfilled. It would also drain the WL’s CP dramatically throughout the game and will thus negate a lot of its potential to dual channel summon units – e.g. lesser elementals, hounds, greater elementals and so forth, without actually giving it a unit that can be used. I see no reason why the Warlord should be handicapped thus and really no justification for it at all.

    Finally, the WL is handicapped in the early and Mid-Game, not only in the early game. I already covered this earlier in this thread regarding the research paradox of the Warlord- A WL player is forced to decide between teching units vertically or teching upgrades horizontally until the late stages of the game, in which it can do both. As a result it has a mediocre mid-game that changes into a very powerful late-game, yet it is often so weakened before reaching that stage that the WL cannot really bloom (so to speak).

    #123737

    Bouh
    Member

    Well, I think the WL needs a proper scouting unit – nothing more and nothing less.

    Yep, making everything the same is always the best solution…

    #123743

    @BBB I think I suggested the same thing like 3 months ago. Either way I like it. Starcraft scanner sweeps?

    You could have it be “acquire guides”, and have the lore be that the warlord spends gold to get the local peasants to tell them about the area, or else…..

    #123795

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Garresh wrote:</div>
    @BBB I think I suggested the same thing like 3 months ago. Either way I like it. Starcraft scanner sweeps?

    You could have it be “acquire guides”, and have the lore be that the warlord spends gold to get the local peasants to tell them about the area, or else…..

    Works for me.

    #123886

    Ricminator
    Member

    I would wait a bit with the scout discussion. It comes down to 2 things on which we don’t have confirmation:

    1 Will there be a new scout unit?
    2 Is the insta-raze of structures tackled?

    Once either of the two is confirmed we can continue the discussion. Especially while we have both the 1.4 patch and the dlc and for future discussion we have to take both into consideration.

    right now I’m discovering all the changes and I can hardly make the difference what comes from what.

    But I agree scouting right now is still as it used to be.

    P.S. In the dlc the reward for a spring of life was changed, atleast in the campaign. It used to give always a hunter, now it gives a fey creature. My second spring gave a unicorn, but my first gave a nightshade fairy. THAT is what I call a scout.

    P.S.2 The warlords elemental damage output is settled as well in the dlc. In the campaign I found the perfect spot for a warlord. See screenshot. Phalanxes with spirit damage and archers with lightning. Imaging it was a human town, then I could have goldlevel archers with 3 damage channels. Pity that the spirit goldlevel archer upgrade doesn’t work on the cav archers afaik. Plus extra def and res on all armored units.

    I assume that on a rmg-map you can find spots like these as well.

    Attachments:
    #123923

    Draxynnic
    Member

    A more general option if you have the focus chamber is to put elves there (assuming you have them, of course) – then you get the bonus both to physical ranged attacks and to shock ranged attacks. Mounted archers, hunters and so on produced from such a location would be quite scary.

    #123999

    A more general option if you have the focus chamber is to put elves there (assuming you have them, of course) – then you get the bonus both to physical ranged attacks and to shock ranged attacks. Mounted archers, hunters and so on produced from such a location would be quite scary.

    you can get High Elf hunters to start at 12 and 2 with bleeding wounds and monster slaying. I haven’t tried the Mounted Archers yet.

    #124056

    Draxynnic
    Member

    On warlord magic: Sure, they’re not totally nonmagical, but talking to birds about what’s over the next hill seems more like an archdruid thing. Or, for that matter, rogue – in fact, that’s the lore behind Grimbeaks. Warlords talking to falcons would be thematically identical except with a nobler bird.

    My interpretation is that warlord abilities with animals only extend to being good trainers.

    On that thought of good training, though – what about giving the ability an animation of a pigeon being released? That way, what is implied is that a lone scout made their way to the location, sent a homing pigeon with the report, and then presumably returned to the main army a day or so later.

    #124149

    Ricminator
    Member

    An extra thought on the scouting:

    I’m curious to know how BBB or Bob5 fare on an island map. Basic seafaring is researched from the start there and doesn’t that mean that your scouts are from the beginning competitive?

    On a landmap noone of the wl units is swimming, meaning that he is trapped behind water whenever he encouters it. And that means that after “Raise militia” your next researchproject should be “Basic seafaring”, where every other class can start something else.

    easiest solution could be to ensure that basic seafaring is researched for a warlord.

    #124163

    On that thought of good training, though – what about giving the ability an animation of a pigeon being released? That way, what is implied is that a lone scout made their way to the location, sent a homing pigeon with the report, and then presumably returned to the main army a day or so later.

    We’re still talking about the scanner ability right?

    Do you like the concept of the idea, which is basically free from reprisals, undetectable, limited, can’t pick stuff up, scouting?

    Scouting, and good at it, but with none of the dis/advantages of summoned units.

    #124164

    @ Ric,

    island games are quite nice, as the avenues for you being attacked are actually less, i.e. you have more security, and you can scout out your island pretty nicely.

    Monster Hunters are a definite pick there :).

    #124167

    Ayenara
    Member

    I was talking with Kozzie, and came to the conclusion that if the treasure pickups were fewer/weaker, then WL would be a lot stronger. You guys agree?

    #124168

    Morty
    Member

    I agree that warlords need a means of scouting that is different from the otherwise most common method, that is a cheap, summoned flying unit. Or floating, in case of the sorcerers’ wisps. Just giving them a unit that works exactly like the ravens, cherubs and drones… eh. Not ideal. I could see an ‘outrunner’ unit – basically, an irregular on a fast mount. It can’t fly, and might or might not get land-traversing abilities, but it’s cheap, moves as fast as regular cavalry or faster, and gives extra resources when picking them up. I have no idea if it’s feasible, but maybe they could be produced by using a spell on irregulars to turn them into the unit? Otherwise I’m not sure if it ought to work as a very cheap recruited unit or a summon similar to Raise Militia.

    #124177

    I was talking with Kozzie, and came to the conclusion that if the treasure pickups were fewer/weaker, then WL would be a lot stronger. You guys agree?

    An idea that was floated many moons ago was to have there be roaming independents that attacked whoever picked up a free resource.

    So, if you took a pile of gold, you’d get jumped.

    However, it wasn’t a good idea because you could still just plot the pickup as part of your path, not your final destination, and outrun the attackers, and in the worst case, you might lose the scout but you still got gold etc, much more easily than the WL did.

    I would amend that idea to say that every free thing have a defender on it, so nothing is now free.

    That immediately makes all the scout summons more actual scouts, and means you need to commit more forces to acquire the (now not so) free gold etc.

    It would slow down the early game for everyone but the Warlord because, in effect, it would make everyone’s inital resource boost be like the Warlords.

    Your scout summons would still be more useful overall, as they are all multi-terrain and thus better at scouting, but it reduces the initial resource advantage that everyone gets over Warlords.

    The defender could be literally just 2 lvl 1 units, or even just 1, so that the Warlord (who is using normal units for “scouting” at this early stage) is on an even footing with the others for the initial free stuff, but not the scouting.

    I find that getting those initial pickups changes the game radically. As Warlord, is is pretty normal to miss stuff in a 5 hex from your borders radius, that everyone else gets pretty much automatically.

    #124190

    Kozzie
    Member

    thats a good idea – 2 lvl 1 units would be enough to kill scouts in battles but would be easy enough for everyone to kill.

    +1 for your idea bbb!

    #124191

    Ayenara
    Member

    There are these item rack now in the game that are defended. So the idea isn’t that foreign.

    #124230

    Draxynnic
    Member

    We’re still talking about the scanner ability right?

    Do you like the concept of the idea, which is basically free from reprisals, undetectable, limited, can’t pick stuff up, scouting?

    Scouting, and good at it, but with none of the dis/advantages of summoned units.

    Aye.

    Mechanically speaking, I’m more or less neutral to the idea. It’s worth a try. But it needs to have the right lore to it, and I don’t think we really need to have warlords and rogues both talking to birds for reconnaissance. 😛

    #124294

    Garresh
    Member

    I’ve always thought it would be best explained as a form of Visions spell. Basically the warlord spends some mana to do some chanting, then he licks a toad, then smokes a bowl, and then passes out and when he wakes up he knows a lot of stuff he didn’t know before.

    #124296

    I’ve always thought it would be best explained as a form of Visions spell. Basically the warlord spends some mana to do some chanting, then he licks a toad, then smokes a bowl, and then passes out and when he wakes up he knows a lot of stuff he didn’t know before.

    that is more an Archdruid thing, or possibly the rouge. The Rouge uses their criminal connections, and the Archdruid just summons it when they are bored (since they can summon boars as well, it is a nice combination).

    warlords can’t do drugs because that interferes with working out and grunting menacingly. Menacing peasants, however, seems like a very useful thing for a warlord (you have to grunt menacingly and throw them around).

    Come to think of it, what if it was a city enchant that increased the vision around a city by a suitable amount for a fixed time? That way, the warlord would have better vision in urban areas, and be able to get all the various pickups, but worse vision in the wild?

    You would be able to cast it on your own, neutral, or even enemy cites (after all, a peasant is a peasant is a peasant).

    #124307

    warlords can’t do drugs because that interferes with working out and grunting menacingly.

    Steroids? 😛

    Skin it however makes sense, but the idea is assymetric scouting, i.e. very good at one aspect of scouting (in this case vision and information) and lacking any ability at the rest (massing Scouts, picking things up etc.)

    @ Chrys, Drax, Slippery one Garresh what do you think about weak defence on resources? Enough to discourage scout pickups but not a threat to any sort of organised force.

    #124322

    Morty
    Member

    I think a scout that is less effective at discovering large swathes of terrain, but gets more out of picking up treasure, might be more in-theme for the warlord, myself.

    #124323

    @ Chrys, Drax, Slippery one Garresh what do you think about weak defence on resources? Enough to discourage scout pickups but not a threat to any sort of organised force.

    hmn, might be a boost for the sorcerer, since the wisp has the best combat potential of the scouts (especially if the AI learns phase). Otherwise, I’d say if you made the pickups less vulnerable to scout armies, like a gold mine level independent force or something, you could boost the value of the pickups.

    That way, pickups will become easy once the warlord has monster hunters/berserkers, so they’ll have a bit of an advantage in taking them.

    #124355

    Garresh
    Member

    Wisps by their own won’t be able to crack the defenses on resources without a decent number of them, and even still may suffer casualties. That said, scouting actually got nerfed somewhat last patch, as 3 combat losses will cripple your empire’s happiness. I had a few games where my halflings got butchered because a few crow deaths put me at like -400 empire happiness. Anyways, scouts shouldn’t be linked to economic potency, so I’m actually for even *more* nerfs to scouts in general, as they really do just affect too much.

    #124360

    Garresh
    Member

    Although for what its worth, I had a very interesting loss just recently. I got wrecked by a warlord in earlygame because horse archers. At the moment, horse archers + Death March means a warlord can say screw scouts and just maneuver so fast and so hard he can brute force his way past poor Intel. Its pretty awesome actually. If scouts are further nerfed in that they can’t give a resource edge, then that may actually make warlords one of the stronger classes.

    #124361

    Draxynnic
    Member

    I don’t think that’s actually a nerf to scouts really – it’s a substitute for the old system of having -100 (IIRC) to happiness for having lost a battle any time in the last ten turns: thus, losing one scout every ten turns makes that penalty permanent.

    Now, you have to have had a trend of losing battles – losing 3 scouts in a row can indeed be crippling, but as long as you get some wins in to break the series, then scout losses shouldn’t be crippling.

    Guards on pickups could be an interesting adjustment, although I think that would be asking for the typical pickup to be worth more so it actually IS worth fighting over.

    #124362

    alf978
    Member

    Personally, I’m a bit conflicted on the Scanner-like ability.
    On one hand, it seems rather unique and interesting, and, let’s face it, some scouting beyond summon Militia, is giant leap forward for the WL.

    But on the other hand, this, as I understand it, would only be a temporary glimpse into a particular area. But it would still be at a disadvantage over conventional scouts, as the ability would be static, you’d have to cast again during the next/subsequent turn to see if things haven’t’ changed, correct? A typical scout, right now, could continue to monitor an enemy/city, follow a unit/stack, can enter, but not engage a crypt, dungeon, etc. to assess the guardian strength, take over an temporarily unguarded town… I.e. give the player more options to adapt.

    Plus, I’m wondering, if early-on I find a chest or gold stash, a bit aways from my units, say, it takes me two/three turns to get there and the item is gone, and I’m confronted with another player. Or there are roaming bandits, that at this stage, outnumber and outclass me? Should I have to re-cast it round after round, or at least twice, once to discover and once prior to arriving, to make sure the item in question is still there and it’s safe to proceed?
    How do I know where I should search? With a scout there’s not much opportunity cost once it is summoned, just its mp and minimal upkeep, but with the ability, do I want to cast it just to see the scenery? Its not just mana but cp as well, round after round, right? Instead, I could be using it to cast Last Stand or Lion’s Courage, or summon militia? That seems a bit of conundrum to me.

    And like Exnihil already mentioned, I’m not too terribly keen on idea of the continuous mana/cp drain in the early rounds, IF I understand the proposal correctly? At least, I would hope it be dirt cheap at a minimum, barely more than the upkeep of two scouts… 7-8 cp???

    I don’t know, I don’t mean to be a nay-sayer, I’m just thinking out loud……

    #124367

    Garresh
    Member

    Drax this is true, but I believe the -300 factors in losses from independents. Either way, I found that regardless of how it plays out in theory, in practice if I scout heavily I’m eating massive morale penalties across my empire, which can be crippling for halflings. Oddly, I don’t find this to be a bad thing. As bizarre as it sounds, I feel like the idea of “nerfing all scouts” is actually a better way to balance warlord than giving them a scout. Because, really, the main reason scouts are so strong has very little to do with actual intel. It has everything to do with the fact that scouts give you a huge economic edge, and the ability to rapidly expand.

    With this latest patch, heavy scouting creates a major risk of empire wide happiness penalties. Furthermore, the heavy aggression boosts to independent AI, coupled with the buffs to scoundrels translates to fast expansion being a great way to waste a bunch of money and get even MORE empire happiness penalties. The new rule of thumb is to scout carefully, and to not buy any city you cannot quickly reach and reinforce, as the amount of money dropped into buying irregulars often won’t be paid back in full for 20+ turns. It may take longer, as the garrisons you create may suffer casualties. And even if you get a strong garrison, the wide roaming paths of enemies may still screw you because of t3s or spider packs raiding your cities.

    And even though all of these changes are pretty much direct nerfs to rogues, it honestly feels right to me. Fast expansion and buying up every city on the map was, in all seriousness, kind of a stupid strategy. It may have worked, but it just felt dumb. If they were to put maybe a guard of 2 irregulars on treasure pickups, it would complete the changes that have started with this latest DLC and patch. And I think it would be good for the game as a whole. Scouts are just tied to *far* too much, as they boost early economies by an absurd amount, and allow you to rapidly take territory that should be out of reach. If they put guards on treasure pickups, and keep the current independent roamer mechanics, I think warlords would be in the perfect spot. All of their units are good, and these changes would keep them distinctly bad at the intelligence game while making them a force to be reckoned with.

    As an addendum, even though I say that these changes are nerfs to rogues, what I mean is that it’s a nerf to stupidly cheap rogue tactics. All the “legitimate” tactics and tools in the rogues kit got a *MASSIVE* buff, so this isn’t supposed to be a complaint post. I’m merely stating that despite the changes I suggest being not beneficial to me, I still endorse them. I think they’re better for the game as a whole.

    #124370

    ExNihil
    Member

    So rather than considering giving the WL a decent scout of some sort, you guys are now pondering how to nerf all scouts in the game and change treasure pickups just to fit the “Scanner” ability, which IMO will still give the WL a highly circumscribed scouting ability in any case and leave it relativly weakened?

    I am all for novel solutions, but this solution seems to me to be frankly silly – this requires the readjustment of multiple factors, some of which I, and I suspect a great many people, don’t find a problem with (e.g. treasure pickups, which can be configured in a menu now), in order to accommodate a new mechanic, which would still not really give the WL the scouting abilities it needs.

    #124373

    Garresh
    Member

    Not as convoluted as you think. I get the feeling some of these changes were not fully intended to buff warlord so much as just to improve morale as a whole. They just happened to nerf scouting and benefit the warlord. Anyways, realizing that by intent or accident they pushed the game in a VERY good direction, I decided screw it, why don’t we just add token 2 unit defenders to treasure pickups and call it a day? I mean that’s a very small change and would complete the cycle, and probably balance warlord in the process. I just like the idea of scouts being, well, scouts. Not economic boosters, or instant-empire-just-add-gold ninjas. It makes the earlygame a bit more “stable” for lack of a better term, because as is you’d see a few lucky pickups causing sorcs and rogues to just explode outwards at the speed of light. It was just silly, and it is overall better for this not to be the case.

    #124374

    ExNihil
    Member

    Sorcerer’s benefit the least from treasure pickups or almost the least. All classes benefit immensely from it and that is an option you can turn on or off, as should perhaps be defenders on treasure pickups. Saying that, this is just one aspect of scouting – an important one, but just one. Look at my post on the start of page 5 of this thread of an enumeration of functions. Finally, it was not incidental – look at @gloweye‘s “Project Empire Happiness” thread.

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