Why are all the class units the same?

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Why are all the class units the same?

This topic contains 77 replies, has 35 voices, and was last updated by  Sartharina 7 years ago.

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  • #210929

    Sartharina
    Member

    Okay, I just got the game because I saw the Tigran race on the GOG summer sale, and for the first few turns of the game, I absolutely loved it – the egyptian-themed cat people are incredibly awesome… until they stop being Egyptian-themed. As soon as I moved out of the Tier I and II empire units and into my class’s units, the visual theme of the race was instantly broken (And with it, my enthusiasm for the game).

    WHY!?

    Maybe the problem is worst for Tigrans because they’re otherwise so different from the Medieval Humans… but why do my Tigran Mounted Archers ride horses instead of Tigers? Why do my Tigran Phalanx look like Swiss Pikemen? Why do my Theocrat’s soldiers look like Christian Crusaders? Almost all of my elite units look too awful to even think about training, and my armies of Tier 1 soldiers cannot hold up into late game.

    THIS IS A VERY SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM!

    #210931

    That is strange. Tigran Mounted archers actually ride tigers. The unit icon is still showing a horse I think.

    Other than that, that’s the nature of the beast. Maybe play a class that is less relient on racial class units, such as the sorcerer, necromancer or arch druid.

    #210933

    razzafazza
    Member

    fairly certain lots of people will tell you soon that is the not a problem and the devs should do other things first – which is a pretty empty argument because making good looking class units is done by an artist and not the guys who handle balance/mechanics. but of course an artist also costs money and spending time on AOW3 models means he wont be spending time on some other game.

    anyhow i fully agree with you. Race units in AOW3 looks really damn great all across the board (except halflings but i loathe them anyhow :p ) but class units unfortunately leave a lot to be desired.

    For Orcs the Warlord units are great. But Highelf Warlord units marching alongside Highelf race units is really mismatching.
    Frostlings are a race where i really dig the race units but absoluteley hate pretty much all class units.

    Imho a good idea d have been (probably not gonna happen outside of modding though) to base units looks more on race.

    I.e. a Phalanx should imho always bear similarity to the pikemen of that race …. except more “elite”. More “elite” meaning more impressive looking pikes, more impressive armor, a different helmet etc. etc. It doesnt have be a completely new model so its actually not even THAT much work (because you wont need new animations for example) as some people assmune.

    Then with class support units you could have them always based on the support unit of that race. I.e. Frostling Apprentices would be White Witches with different robes/staffes instead of that bearded guy that is the face for EVERY class unit =(
    Orcs Bards could look like Orc Priests except with different robes & wardrums and not like Shrek s mom as they do now.

    ….imagine an orc exalted looking like an orc shocktrooper but with leathery wings and a huge axe…..

    …. there s TONS of small things one could do to make class units look much better and fitting to their race that really wouldnt take much effort in theory.
    (no new assets, no new animations, just reusing & copypasting already existing assets)

    hopefully one day we ll get modding tools that allow modders to tinker with the models of AOW3 …. then i ll bet you we ll see some awesome stuff regarding class units visuals.

    even better would be a unit editor just as intuitive as the leader editor we already have in AOW3 (the game Fallen Enchantress has this – unfortunately its graphics are really crappy so its not much use though) … but i guess thats just dreaming =/

    #210936

    Tibbles
    Member

    It’s because of budget/time constraint, that’s the only reason.
    It would add many months of extra work for little to no gain to a tiny company like Triumph.
    It would require designing unique concepts/models/textures/animations of 170+ units. Theres no way they can pull that off.

    EDIT: even adding small aassets like suggested above is a lot more work than it seems, you can’t just add a new weapon to an animation and be done with it, you have to reskin everything, same for any change to a model.

    #210940

    Sartharina
    Member

    I think there would be a tremendous gain. And no, it doesn’t require “Months of work”. And actually, you can just change a weapon used in an animation and be done with it. I do it all the time. It’s also not ‘Little/no gain”. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, as long as you look good doing it.

    I think you overestimate the amount of effort needed to change models and animations. Even just re-using assets (Outfits and weapons) would go a long way.

    I don’t understand why they made the units look so bad/samey in the first place.

    #210943

    *sigh* Class units adhere to the class aesthetic.

    Also

    I think you overestimate the amount of effort needed to change models and animations.

    Tibbles is an actual artist, and not only that, she did alot of the concept art and is in touch with the team. She knows more about the company than anyone else here.

    Basically, if Tibbles says something like

    It would add many months of extra work for little to no gain to a tiny company like Triumph.
    It would require designing unique concepts/models/textures/animations of 170+ units. Theres no way they can pull that off.

    then you can consider it almost gospel, as she knows much more about how Triumph works than we do.

    Plus, you can see what she says is true. Look how many class units there are.

    If I’m understanding you correctly, your complaint is purely visual. I doubt things are going to get changed based on that.

    For example, Exalted all need to look similar enough to be easily identified.

    You might have more luck pushing for new racially based abilities.

    EDIT: also, your title is incorrect. Class units are not actually all the same. They have a variety of different abilities. They look similar though, but that’s explained above.

    #210950

    esvath
    Member

    In a perfect world where Triumph can have all resources that they need, sure, I’d love to see each unit (be it racial or class one) to have different aesthetics. Unfortunately, as Tibbles has said, there is time/budget constraint. Thus, I am satisfied with current level of aesthetics and if Triumph has more resources on their command, I prefer them to allocate it for the next expansion, random heroes generator, more customisation for leaders etc.

    #210953

    Smaug3
    Member

    Class units are actually quite different depending on race. They may look similar, but you can find unique abilities on a great many of them. I’m a firm believer that you should focus on function way more than form, and I’d prefer it if they used their resources for making new classes, races, dwellings, specializations and the like instead of making everything look fancy. Simply put, at the end of the day, what matters more: the way this game looks, or the possibilities for what you can do inside it?

    Tibbles is an actual artist, and not only that, she’s Duchess Tibbles to Duke Tombles, the guy who designed the tactical combat and does alot of the AI stuff.

    I’m confused. What does that mean?

    #210955

    She has been working with Triumph since before beta began. She did a few of the concept drawings as well if I remember correctly.

    #210960

    Smaug3
    Member

    Ah, thanks for explaining.

    #210961

    Tibbles
    Member

    She has been working with Triumph since before beta began. She did a few of the concept drawings as well if I remember correctly.

    *had
    I did some art a few years ago as an internship, just to be clear, I DON’T work for Triumph.
    But the Dutch game industry is so small most know eachother and keep in touch

    #210963

    Sartharina
    Member

    *sigh* Class units adhere to the class aesthetic.

    Which are not mutually exclusive.

    Tibbles is an actual artist, and not only that, she did alot of the concept art and is in touch with the team. She knows more about the company than anyone else here.

    Basically, if Tibbles says something like

    It would add many months of extra work for little to no gain to a tiny company like Triumph.
    It would require designing unique concepts/models/textures/animations of 170+ units. Theres no way they can pull that off.

    then you can consider it almost gospel, as she knows much more about how Triumph works than we do.

    Plus, you can see what she says is true. Look how many class units there are.

    Okay, these forums need a better way of identifying people.

    And not all of the classes and races are terrible offenders – some classes and races work well. Of course… it might just be the Tigran, due to how non-European their design is.

    If I’m understanding you correctly, your complaint is purely visual. I doubt things are going to get changed based on that.

    WHY NOT!? THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE!

    … I’d at least like modding tools so I can fix it myself for my own games 🙁

    For example, Exalted all need to look similar enough to be easily identified.

    Which isn’t exclusive to having the race’s aesthetic also be present.

    EDIT: also, your title is incorrect. Class units are not actually all the same. They have a variety of different abilities. They look similar though, but that’s explained above.

    If they have different abilities, that’s all the more reason to have them have more distinctive appearances, so you know at a glance what race and unit you’re dealing with.

    #210964

    Racial units follow the races style, class units the classes style.
    All Tigran units that are class-independent have the egyptian theme, whereas the class units have the same style the class has. The warlord is a bit special in that each unit has a distinctive style of its own too. Mounted Archers are mongolian, phalanxes are greek, etc…

    One change that might be fitting is to give the Tigran crusaders and phalanxes the Sun Guards shield graphics, but I do think it fits better if class units keep their distinctive style.

    #210967

    Sir Toine
    Member

    “but you can find unique abilities on a great many of them. I’m a firm believer that you should focus on function way more than form”

    Agreed. That’s what matters the most.
    New expansion did well in that way and I’d love to see even more in the future.

    #210970

    Smaug3
    Member

    WHY NOT!? THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE!

    How? It’s visuals for crying out loud. How is it an important issue? They die like flies throughout the course of your game, it’s not like you want your legions to look pretty before they go off and die. I’m asking you: do you want nice-looking tigran soldiers who die every other turn, or do you want more features, such as new classes and units?

    #210972

    Sartharina
    Member

    “but you can find unique abilities on a great many of them. I’m a firm believer that you should focus on function way more than form”

    Agreed. That’s what matters the most.
    New expansion did well in that way and I’d love to see even more in the future.

    And I’m a firm believer that Form matters far more. It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, only that you look good doing it.

    Racial units follow the races style, class units the classes style.
    All Tigran units that are class-independent have the egyptian theme, whereas the class units have the same style the class has. The warlord is a bit special in that each unit has a distinctive style of its own too. Mounted Archers are mongolian, phalanxes are greek, etc…

    One change that might be fitting is to give the Tigran crusaders and phalanxes the Sun Guards shield graphics, but I do think it fits better if class units keep their distinctive style.

    Bah. Class should determine how you play, while Race determines what you look like.
    Mounted archers are already distinctive (Tip – they’re the Guy With A Bow on a Mount) – they don’t need the Mongolian getup, and it actually detracts from the unit’s aesthetic. Tigran mounted archers should not ride brown horses, and they’d look much better with Egyptian garb. And I got a more “Swiss Pikeman” out of the Phalanx unit more than “Greek Hoplite”. I’d have had fewer complaints if they DID look Greek.

    The class units already have a distinctive style in weapons, level of armor, and other traits (Martyr’s blue eyes, Exalted’s feathered wings and light outfit, Mounted Archer’s Bow on Mount, Phalanx’s Long Spears, musketeer’s muskets, etc.)

    #210974

    Sartharina
    Member

    WHY NOT!? THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE!

    How? It’s visuals for crying out loud. How is it an important issue? They die like flies throughout the course of your game, it’s not like you want your legions to look pretty before they go off and die. I’m asking you: do you want nice-looking tigran soldiers who die every other turn, or do you want more features, such as new classes and units?

    If I don’t have my legions looking pretty, I might as well not have them at all.

    Yes, I’d rather have nice-looking Tigran soldiers that die every other turn more than more features bloating a bland and samey-looking game.

    #210976

    Smaug3
    Member

    “but you can find unique abilities on a great many of them. I’m a firm believer that you should focus on function way more than form”

    Agreed. That’s what matters the most.
    New expansion did well in that way and I’d love to see even more in the future.

    And I’m a firm believer that Form matters far more. It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, only that you look good doing it.

    What? Really, just what? How does form even matter more than function? Would you rather watch a movie for the visuals, or for the good writing shown in the movie? Would you prefer reading a book because the cover is nice, or because it’s a good book?

    Bah. Class should determine how you play, while Race determines what you look like.

    Um, no. Race determines minor features among your units. While it may not be majorly evident, it is there. Goblins are cheaper and have less health but regenerate in wetlands and their cities grow fast. Elves walk through forests easily and are weak to blight. Dwarves cost more but are sturdy. Races are their to determine what climate you can settle in, how your units are different, and so on. They are not for cosmetics.

    #210977

    Smaug3
    Member

    If I don’t have my legions looking pretty, I might as well not have them at all.

    Yes, I’d rather have nice-looking Tigran soldiers that die every other turn more than more features bloating a bland and samey-looking game.

    They are soldiers who die, why should they look pretty? Honestly, would you prefer it if this game is crappy and doesn’t run well but had magnificent looking units? And how is this game bland? You could run everything on random a million different times and come up with different results every single time. This game is replayability galore. And I don’t think new features ‘bloat’ this game. They add on. Take the merfolk. Were they bland? Sure they were another ‘boring dwelling,’ as you might say, but they added on to the allure of the ocean. They’re a fun dwelling to use, and they are unique despite there already being five other dwellings. The necromancer, despite being the seventh class, was still unique and intricate. They added in alignment specializations, which gave us a fun type of gameplay. This game is anything but bland.

    #210979

    Sartharina
    Member

    “but you can find unique abilities on a great many of them. I’m a firm believer that you should focus on function way more than form”

    Agreed. That’s what matters the most.
    New expansion did well in that way and I’d love to see even more in the future.

    And I’m a firm believer that Form matters far more. It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, only that you look good doing it.

    What? Really, just what? How does form even matter more than function? Would you rather watch a movie for the visuals, or for the good writing shown in the movie? Would you prefer reading a book because the cover is nice, or because it’s a good book?

    If I’m reading a book, I want it to be well-written and evocative. If I’m watching a movie – yes, yes I do watch them for the visuals, not the writing. Writing is for books. Videos are for Viewing.

    Bah. Class should determine how you play, while Race determines what you look like.

    Um, no. Race determines minor features among your units. While it may not be majorly evident, it is there. Goblins are cheaper and have less health but regenerate in wetlands and their cities grow fast. Elves walk through forests easily and are weak to blight. Dwarves cost more but are sturdy. Races are their to determine what climate you can settle in, how your units are different, and so on. They are not for cosmetics.[/quote]They should also be for cosmetics – Tigrans look different from elves look different from humans look different from halflings look different from Draconians look different from goblins look different from orcs.

    #210980

    Sorax
    Keymaster

    Okay, these forums need a better way of identifying people.

    Why? Does the “keymaster” under my name mean that my posts are more valuable than the ones of any other user? Does it mean I would own Jomungur in a MP-battle? (both is a “no” 🙂 )

    Should we add a new role for Tibbles? Smthg. like: “has worked for triumph, has tons of know-how about AoW3, is a very well known and respected part of this community”? Would that be helpful? 🙂

    I dislike the connotation here: Let’s assume everybody who is replying to me has no clue, UNLESS it is a mod or sb. who has proven to know what he is talking about? meh…

    On topic: Please make sure this thread does not get derailed, you guys can also agree to disagree.

    @sartharina: Feel free to add any suggestions you have in this thread here (after reading the rules of it): http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/gameplay-suggestion-compiled-topics-index-2/

    #210981

    I’m asking you: do you want nice-looking tigran soldiers who die every other turn, or do you want more features, such as new classes and units?

    As someone who has been the product manager for online RPG games, I can tell you this is an issue with a major gender divide.

    I don’t want to promote stereotypes, but female players tend to be motivated by aesthetics and male players by powers/abilities/classes/units.

    In one game I was working on, our audience was 55% female and for the most part they didn’t care what the items or articles of clothing had for powers. They would equip things they liked the look of at the expense of power consistently. It took a lot of community feedback and hiring female devs & artists to get this balance right.

    Of course we had male players with similar motivations, but in fewer numbers.

    I understand this is quite likely a male dominated game, but let’s not chase away those who value aesthetics over powers.

    Personally I love ALL the artwork. My favorite class units are the Orc Warlord (green) units and the Frostling Warlord (blue) units. I play Sorcerer so I have to use Eldritch Horrors and Theocrat heroes to secure a few warlord units, but when I do it makes my game for me.

    I’m not a Tigran player, but I do love having them as a secondary race. I can see why someone might find the Tigran versions of the class units a little disappointing. The orange has very little contrast with the earth tones of most class units, making them less striking than the blue and green versions.

    My advice to the OP — don’t give up. Whether by patch or mod, most of these kinds of things will evolve. This is an active and motivated community.

    #210982

    terrahero
    Member

    Bah. Class should determine how you play, while Race determines what you look like.

    That’s your opinion. How it actually works is that Class and Race both determine what you look like and how you play.

    Anyway the reason this isn’t the main focus of all development is simply resource constraints. So i don’t know what you hope to accomplish by pressing this. We heard you the first three times.

    Triumph has over the course of development/patching added a bit more diversity to race/class combo’s. Just last patch the Golem was changed for Halfings to be a Party Robot. We now have Frost tanks and unit abilities have been made increasingly diversified based on their race.

    #210995

    Class should determine how you play, while Race determines what you look like.

    Or not. The Phalanx description text rather aptly tells of how a warlord forces orcs to fight with the weapons he gave them and the tactics he trained them.
    If their equipment isn’t orc-designed, why should it look like it was?
    Similarly why would musketeers of different races use different equipment? And so on.

    One could make a game where race is the primary visual indicator, but AoW3 isn’t that. There is a quite conscious decision in mechanics to make the class the determining factor and race supplementary. That is mirrored in the visuals as well.
    Any visual distinction that would fit that mold would be minor enough to be barely visible and be a decent amount of work. there currently are 22 class units that have a racial variant and 9 races. That’s 198 unique combination and you’d have to remodel and retexture every single one of them.
    that is a ton of work, with dubious benefits.

    IF mod-tools are released, it might be a valid approach for people to do that race by race or combination by combination, but right now it is not.

    Tigran mounted archers should not ride brown horses, and they’d look much better with Egyptian garb.

    Are you sure you have the latest patch applied? That was a bug in the release version of Eternal Lords that got fixed, they should ride tigers now.

    #210997

    And I’m a firm believer that Form matters far more. It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, only that you look good doing it.

    Hahahaha.

    This made me smile.

    I have to say bud, I think TBS may not be the genre for you.

    That said, I honestly don’t know if this is a genuine viewpoint.

    #210999

    If I’m reading a book, I want it to be well-written and evocative.

    Your analogy falls down. If this were a book, you’d be complaining that the cover didn’t have enough sparkles and that the page borders weren’t engraved and that the calligraphy was not up to the standards of a medieval monk.

    I’d rather a book that was readable and interesting.

    #211000

    CSav10
    Member

    This reminds me of discussions I had with a friend playing world of warcraft long ago. He complained once my weapon looked terrible, and I told him if they released a giant log of poo as a weapon and it was the most effective damage wise, I would use it. At any rate I’m very fond of most of the AOW models, I worry a lot more about wether units offer me an enjoyable/effective play-style than what they offer aesthetically.

    #211003

    BalkanLuka
    Member

    Well I aprove that OPs suggestion that some minor aesthetics could be changed, as some of you stated that mionor changes are also impossible and resource demanding, triumph showed that they are still wiling and able to do it, take for example goblin templars and pikeman, they got new axe and pike model which makes them more easily identifiable on the battlefield, if they could swap pikes and sword types for critical units that need some visual love, they could just swap assest as they did with these 2 goblin units, so make tigran pikeman have sunguard spears for example, they say its demanding but they still did it once, why not do it again in a slower pace, like 2 units updated per patch?

    #211010

    Sartharina
    Member

    Okay, these forums need a better way of identifying people.

    Why? Does the “keymaster” under my name mean that my posts are more valuable than the ones of any other user? Does it mean I would own Jomungur in a MP-battle? (both is a “no” :) )

    Should we add a new role for Tibbles? Smthg. like: “has worked for triumph, has tons of know-how about AoW3, is a very well known and respected part of this community”? Would that be helpful? :)

    I dislike the connotation here: Let’s assume everybody who is replying to me has no clue, UNLESS it is a mod or sb. who has proven to know what he is talking about? meh…

    On technical issues like models, I’m going with my own experience over some other random person’s, unless they’re on the inside. With the little bit of graphic work I’ve done (Mostly modding games like Skyrim, and a few terrible 3D movies I’ve made), I found that changing a non-animation element is pretty simple.

    @sartharina: Feel free to add any suggestions you have in this thread here (after reading the rules of it): http://ageofwonders.com/forums/topic/gameplay-suggestion-compiled-topics-index-2/

    Thanks! I wasn’t sure whether to put this there or not, because it’s about Visuals (Not graphics) and also a bit of a rant (The initial title was going to be “WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME!?”)

    Bah. Class should determine how you play, while Race determines what you look like.

    That’s your opinion. How it actually works is that Class and Race both determine what you look like and how you play.

    But right now, the visual element gets largely overridden.

    Anyway the reason this isn’t the main focus of all development is simply resource constraints. So i don’t know what you hope to accomplish by pressing this. We heard you the first three times.

    This is only once. One thread, one opinion.

    Triumph has over the course of development/patching added a bit more diversity to race/class combo’s. Just last patch the Golem was changed for Halfings to be a Party Robot. We now have Frost tanks and unit abilities have been made increasingly diversified based on their race.

    This is excellent news!

    And I’m a firm believer that Form matters far more. It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, only that you look good doing it.

    Hahahaha.

    This made me smile.

    I have to say bud, I think TBS may not be the genre for you.

    That said, I honestly don’t know if this is a genuine viewpoint.

    Your right, I don’t really have any interest in the TBS genre for the sake of the TBS genre. However, what I do have interest in is the “Egyptian Cat People Empire Building” Genre (Which has depressingly few games in it), which this game is, as of the latest expansion, part of.

    #211014

    pwk11
    Member

    If you stop playing this fantastic game due to unit appearance,you will be missing out on MANY hours of great game play.

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