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  • in reply to: Cadavers #223011

    Cadavers are such simple and mindless creations, they lack the coordination and presence of mind to stand up.
    Instead they crawl and claw and bit or don’t.

    Honest answer:

    Because if that happens and you put your main (picked class) on hold to develop a hero of another class even though you do not have Necro class tech, either NECRO is completely overpowered or the combo X Class(tech)/Necro or Necro tech or X Class is underpowered.

    Wait, that is something different. In the post i quoted you said “consider”. And if one option is clearly better then there is no consideration. If the player with the early necro hero has top consider which path to take between two strategic options, that means that
    a) these options are roughly equal, at least enough that there is consideration involved
    b) In a strategic game there is a significant strategic choice informing the rest of the particular game
    I would consider both of these desirable aspects.

    Not to mention the fact that if you wanted to go on a ghoul rage you might play Necro in the first place.

    On a side note, again, do we really want other classes to have quite as much access to a key element of the Necromancer playstyle as this currently allows? That’s kind of what the Necromancer class itself exists for. You can’t really emulate the other classes’ mid-late game strategy, like Ghoul Cursed/Undead hordes with the Necromancer are, with any reliable accuracy.

    Do we want that?
    Well, I don’t know if you want that. But I do know that, again easily readable in the threads to the Necromancer prieview newsposts, a number of people, who are part of that abstract “we”, do want it. And linked to that a number of people also voiced disappointment when it was announced that non-Necros have to purify ghoul cities, instead of keeping them as a ready source of undead racial and class troops.

    So yes, “we” want significant ghoul troops and the undead army playstyle outside of the necromancer class, just not ever part of “we” has the same opinion.

    Mass Trebuchet to emulate Dreadnought Machine armies(or Crossbowmen to emulate Musketeers?).
    Desperately befriend/charm as many animals as you can and clear Springs of Life for chance at gaining Hunters to emulate Archdruid.
    Massed Fairies mixed in with Storm Sisters(for Inflict Stun) to emulate Sorcerer.
    Simply lots of (inferior to actual class) units to emulate Warlord, Cavalry especially.
    …you know, I’ll stop here. The closest one to an actual class that’s remotely like the real thing is the Archdruid example, and even that’s missing Hunters(in realistic numbers), Shamans and Horned Gods, plus the noteworthy empire upgrades.

    Funnily enough a neutral machine guild as a way to get better machines outside the Dreadnaught class is one of those recurring suggestion in this forum.
    And the thing you go for here is a rather full emulation of the class, which so far no class can do. You can’t gain the horned god to go full druid and you can’t get the Dread Reaper for full Necro. Alternatively don’t forget the elite Tigran Mystics so we can emulate the Sorcerers phasing supports.
    You can emulate aspects of a class, and the Necro only looks significantly better in that regard than the other classes if you assume:

    (and realistically, Ghouls really are Necro class units more than they’re not)

    And this is something I disagree on.
    And the whole reason for this thread is actually the rather free access to ghouls by non-Necros. Ghoul Course, Control Undead, Well of Souls…
    I think “ghoul” is just a modifier to a unit, one the Necro has easier access to for thematic and synergy reasons, but nothing more. I do not consider ghouls a more Necromancer aspect of the game than Archons. It works better and you have an easier time getting them, but everyone gets access, and not just mostly the Necro.

    But I do think a lot of this boils down to: “Should undead be available outside the Necromancer class in a strategy-informing amount?”
    And my answer to that is “Yes, they should.”

    You don’t want players of non-Necro classes to really consider whether they should concentrate on developing the Necro asap and putting their main on support duty, just because they get a Necro offered early.

    Honest question: Why not?

    This last tangent seems to me like people equate similar hero levels differently.

    At what turn would you guys expect to have a level 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 Necro around?

    JJ, it must really hurt your ego to have someone disagree with you, as you keep attacking and insulting me even after we stopped discussing. Please behave like a civilized human being and stop it.

    Well, I believe you could argue that the more you outrank the opposition, the better the Deathbringer will be in comparison to the Succubus or the Evangelist. I.e. if the outcome of the battle is already given, then the seduce/convert benefit is reduced. What is the strength to get a unit right away if that unit has no chance to contribute during the combat. Likewise, the threat of being in melee range can be reduced if you have the means to kill/block the enemy units in time, or if you have some other means to protect your Deathbringer (e.g. the Safeguard spell).

    True, but that is a different strategic element that the part you quote forgoes explicitly.

    The question you put and that would require an answer then is “What is an appropriate downside to the ability to convert multiple units in a single fight, and how does the number of downsides the Deathbringer is saddled with to have it measure up?”.
    And I would like an answer that is a bit better thought out than “(almost) everyone else has MCI” or “It’s imba”.

    And well, who says the unit has no chance to contribute? A converted unit will in bigger fights have a decent amount of contribution, if conversion is used as a tactical tool and not just a method to nab the last survivor (Something a lot of people have told me to be the preferred approach).

    Now that I know it can potentially grab anything that doesn’t have 100% Spirit protection (and even that is negotiable with certain debuffs) it is very obvious that that a unit with this ability should not be able to be converted.

    Degenerate (and with a lot of luck, Pandemonium) is the only way to make a 100% spirit protection vulnerable. It the opponent lacks wild magic or CP, spirit immunity is immunity to GC. Also certain types of unit have inherent immunity for no reason.

    And allow me the question: Why is it so important to make and keep units unconvertable?

    Only if you look at this problem in the context of a single tactical battle. The long term situation favors the Deathbringer, particularly, a Necromancer player with an early Deathbringer.

    This line of argumentation is a rebuttal to your claim of

    There is no tradeoff in combat strength.

    So I gather we have reached an agreement that there is a loss of combat strength when utilizing the DB, if we limit the view to a single tactical battle?

    That leaves us to argue about the strategic level. In which we have to contrast the acquisition of X converted unit to Y ghouled units.
    Now both types have the same advantages and drawbacks to procurement (no production cost, yet full upkeep) and ghouled units have the added drawback of being slightly weaker (intentionally to compensate for the added number of them as claimed by devs).

    So what would be a fair rate of X to Y? Consider that more forces mean a military and strategic snowball effect, while also restricting economic growth due to binding more funds. Consider also that Y is intended to create a certain snowball effect zombie apocalypse by design and as a desired aspect by a significant number of players (as easily visible in the Necromancer preview threads).

    The only real restriction is lack of ability to heal. That is why I think this strategy works best for a Necromancer, to support the free army with Reanimators.

    It does require you to find a Deathbringer and succeed at the convert roll (I suppose you could leave and come back if it fails).

    I find it kinda funny that given the points made, healing is the only real restriction, and not a restriction at all. And so are all other downsides to the DB. Yet all all the upsides are always there, always significant and never situational.

    But no game should depend so heavily on a single die roll.

    I have bad news for you.
    A lucky early quest giving you a T4 or something of similar power. A conversion roll by a bard or necro against a T4 giant/titan. Cosmic events. The roll to see if the metropolis next door is friendly enough to immediately offer open borders or hostile and declares war. The random chance if you start with 2-3 griffon riders or 0.

    The game is seeded with lucky single rolls that can decide games. There’s literally a ton of them.
    This one is no different. It’s just one of many, many lucky and chancy things that can alter the game.

    So maybe here two alternate solutions:
    – Move the Necromancer Hero’s Control Undead ability up to level 5.

    – Reintroduce “Drain Will” from Shadow Magic and give it to the Eldritch Horror, Bard, Exalted and Nymph.

    in reply to: Update v1.602+ Patch Notes – Updated 15/9/2015 #221092

    I think that you actually don’t know what thuis specific thing is all about and argue on a very personal basis without actually having a point except claiming a lot.

    I would recommend a good look into the mirror to you. And please stop with the ad hominem attacks when you run out of arguments.

    JJ, you have been needlessly insulting in this thread multiple times now.
    You have been ignoring arguments you had no reply for and mischaracterized others to try and disprove them. You have repeated contested ones without any added validation, you have made claims, repeated them and neither backed them up nor characterized them into something that could even be engaged into any conclusive manner.
    You keep attacking those that disagree with you, instead of trying to engage their arguments and you displaying ignorance, either willful or from lack of mental faculties, when you lack arguments. It is very clear you are not arguing in good faith.

    You are wrong, but I wont try longer to tell you, because it is very obvious you do not want to see, nor care about it, you simply want to have your right opinion validated, no matter if it actually is.
    You simply are too disgusting a person to converse with.

    Necromancer heroes are incredible for Theocrats and pretty good for everyone else except (IMO) Dreadnought.

    Even for Dreads. Choking Fumes is quite good when it’s asymmetrical, and frost tanks work very well with ghouled frostlings.

    The strength of Necro heroes is that they open up an option (undead army) that simply is hard to break into otherwise. That option is a lateral shift from normal, but not a better one, except, as with everything in AoW3, situationally.
    However, most heroes have some aspects that if taken a similar situational advantage of are similarly efficient. And those that don’t work as a force multiplier of similar power when given suitable support. The Necro is different and allows different things, but that is not the same as being overpowered. And as the most designed class that was most made to be different it sticks out far more than the other kinds of heroes, because they are a lot more similar to each other. But that doesn’t make them weaker.
    AoW3 is asymmetrical to a degree, and the Necro is one of the bigger asymmetries in it. But that is a very different thing from being unbalanced.

    Meanwhile you keep making a bigish deal about the Deathbringer being at risk of death. But the Deathbringer’s stats (60 HP, 11 Def 11 Resist) are better than an Evangelist and identical to a Succubus, and both of those units give up their entire turn while standing at melee or close range to trigger their conversion. The DB also has Tireless, so you can just park it in guard mode and nobody can AP drain it. The Deathbringer also does more damage than a Succubus, not that it really matters, because you aren’t using the unit for damage. The Deathbringer is basically a way to trigger conversion checks, and the way to do that is teleport behind the unit and spin them around so they can’t strike back. Unless you are simply terrible at this game, or exclusively play autocombat, you should be able to procure a huge number of units from doing that. It’s like getting to roll Seduce multiple times from a single Succubus instead of having to bring multiples.

    Ok, I try to abstract it a bit.

    Let’s say you have a number combat resources in a fight. These combat resources represent your units, spells and what they can do. They are the damage you deal, debuffs you inflict, healing you do, positioning, etc…
    The same is true for the opposing side, though they might have a differen value of combat resources.

    Let’s say you have 150 combat resources (CR) and you fight 5 enemy units that would take 20 combat resources each to kill.

    Example A: Evangelist/Succubus trying to convert one of these enemy units
    – Walk up and try conversion (spending part of your CR)
    Option 1: Failure
    – The target unit is still an enemy that needs to be dealt with.
    – You spent 20 CR in addition to the CR value of the conversion attempt to kill it.
    Option 2: Success
    – The target unit and its 20 CR are lost to the enemy and added to your force. You now have added CR from the converted unit and need not spend CR to kill it.
    – Depending on what you converted that was a favorable trade.
    – You also get the permanent addition of that unit to your forces on the strategic map.

    Example B: Deathbringer
    – Walk up and attack (spending CR)
    — Take retaliation, costing you CR (healing),
    — or alternatively spend additional CR to prevent the target unit from guarding or retaliating.
    As the attack cost the DBs turn, both of these require you to spend CR from a second unit. In the case of being able to shadowstep-flank, that requires the target unit to have attacked or otherwise being brought out of guard mode, which also costs CR. So already we have spent more CR on a single conversion than in the other example.
    No divergence: Success or Failure
    – The target unit is still an enemy that needs to be dealt with.
    – You spent 20 CR in addition to the CR value of the conversion attempt to kill it. Lessened by the CR value of the DBs attack.
    – You also get the permanent addition of that unit to your forces on the strategic map, as a weaker ghoul version.
    – You also can try on the next unit.

    This is what I talk about. On a pure combat equivalency equation, each Deathbringer ghouling costs the effort of a failed conversion of any other converting unit, without the chance to get the added boost of the converted unit during the fight. On a unit by unit cost, it requires more force brought to bear to successfully convert a unit as a ghoul.
    The compensation for that is that you have multiple attempts (technically domination has that too), and that you deal more damage attempting that with the other traits (Dominate and Control Undead deal damage on failure and Charm adds the shaken debuff).

    I see both methods as having advantages and disadvantages, and not one as strictly more powerful. Also due to the delivery method of melee attack the DB is more endangered than the flying Succubus or the Evangelist with ranged conversion, making the similar statline less durable in general.

    in reply to: Update v1.602+ Patch Notes – Updated 15/9/2015 #220640

    An exploit in game terms has a specific definition, that definition is that it hinges upon a bug or a gap in the program. Neither is the case here, therefore:

    If that’s not an exploit, there is none.

    And sadly your argument boils down to “It’s different, I don’t like it.”.
    That is a valid opinion to have. But that is not a balance issue, same as the free spell for Necros on game start and a number of other issues.

    And discussing your problem with that would be far easier if you would acknowledge that it is a subjective problem instead of an unforeseen and unacceptable failure of game balance that needs some forced ill-conceived solution.

    in reply to: Update v1.602+ Patch Notes – Updated 15/9/2015 #220581

    There is an easy cure for that: Give Deathbringer immunity against Control Undead; that would solve a lot of exploits with early Inflict Ghoul Curse streaks.

    A thing you dislike is an exploit now, really?

    Did you miss the part we’re talking about converting an enemy unit? There is no “price” other than the investment required to have the power required to grab the unit. The point of this thread, and the reason behind the request for MCI, is that grabbing one of these units early gives you a very large advantage. Specifically, the ability to convert other units, an which ability is expressly guarded by MCI for all other recruitment units minus the very weak Bard.

    Did you miss the part where I addressed that? Twice?

    You make an argument and then ignore everything that contradicts it. That’s silly. Do you actually have any interest in any discussion or do you just want to feel validated in being wrong?
    The Deathbringer is worse in combat power than any non-conversion of similar value.
    And the Deathbringer is worse in combat power than any conversion unit of comparable value.
    That is a combat power tradeoff. And even if you ignore it, it still is.

    The best defense of the current situation is that it may not always work. But it’s not like there is any huge investment you lose if it doesn’t. It’s more like:
    – It worked: Get a big leg up
    – It’d didn’t: Lose nothing and play as normal

    Except when it works you need to start investing in that strategy to benefit from it, and if it doesn’t you have forgone some other advantage.

    And that puts it perfectly in line with a ton of similar strategies.

    This unit needs MCI. Period.

    If this is the level of discussion:
    This unit doesn’t need MCI. Double Period..

    Agreed, and that’s that, no need to discuss this further.

    Yeah, but here you are still discussing and not admitting being wrong. Silly, really.

    No, it was PvP in a PBEM game which means, it was an Autocombat result (6 lower quality plus Deathbringer against 5 higher quality units including 1 good hero; result: Deathbringer sole survivor against a Dire Bear a Mature Serpent and a good hero, among others, so even in AUTO the DB survives; and in AUTO it Ghouled 4 of the 5 units, ending the battle with 5 undead units. As a Theocrat.)

    So where exactly does the problem here lie?
    That the Theocrats army won?
    Or that it was still at fighting strength after?

    That is simply a lucky outcome, and against that opposition that was a number of really lucky rolls.
    So is the non-halfling variant of luck now a balance issue?
    You are complaining about an improbably battle result that includes at lest 3 50% or less chances succeeding as a balance issue.
    That is not a balance issue, that is simply being lucky. That’s what happens in this game.

    You entire complaint is that someone got lucky and you don’t like and and therefore you want to ruin the game for anyone who doesn’t have that problem with chances.

    Look, you continue to insist that a DB is in danger of getting killed; I assure you it isn’t, not when you know what you are doing.

    When you know what you’re doing to the degree to feasibly minimize the danger to a DB, spider groups and other similar things are also a minimal danger. Yet you consider those risky. You can’t have it both ways. Either the player is highly capable and minimizes risk, or he isn’t. Not one for when it suits you and the other for when it suits you.

    [quote=220527]The sole investment you make is buying the Necro instead of rejecting him and giving him battle participation. Then, if you get a chance, it either works or not: your Necro hero waits for the appropriate moment to try and Control the DB, and when it works, both team up, because the Necro has Heal undead. Depending on the lay (Necromantic Circle, Lost Library, Tomb), your necro has actually two taks: Controlling Reanimators (and more DBs, if possible) and guarding the DB; the DBs task is, to select worthwhile targets to hit. Once you have a working fighting stack, this is a rolling express: it didn’t cost you any production capacity or gold/mana except that you have to pay higher upkeep – but you’d have that anyway, since you can’t just run with your initial forces.

    Have you ever looked at the Necromancer abilities besides Control Undead?
    A number of its abilities and spell only work on undead. Using the Necro hero in a living army like any other hero wastes half his potential and makes him a weaker option than another hero of the same level. By recruiting a Necro you are already either committing to taking a less than good hero or getting a small undead army for him to lead.
    That is a significant investment because of the opportunity costs you pay.

    And well, and argument of as to why this strategy works and how you can easily manage every combat to benefit of it, works just the same for any other conversion tactic. AD animals as an example. And they are just as much of a rolling express and cost as little in production, gold and mana for the same apparently negligible upkeep.

    Why do you insist to pretend I don’t understand how it works? I do, and because I do I am disagreeing with you. If you really have such a hard time accepting that someone can disagree with you wwile understanding, you really shouldn’t argue balance, and should first put the same effort into understanding my arguments, which you seem to have trouble with.

    Keep also in mind, that some interesting empire upgrades work for Undead as well, for example the AD upgrade that gives Archers and Supports +8 MP (Long Strider, I think); works perfectly fine on Ghouls…

    It also works on the same units non-ghouled. “It works on everyone equally, including the worse option, therefore the option is not worse” is a stupid argument.
    Next you tell me ghouled cavalry is better than normal cavalry because the Warlord has Toroughbred Mounts.

    The point wasn’t having an advantage, the point is having an advantage in class-specifics.

    How would you define that advantage, because I’m not seeing it.

    You would say that Necro Class has equal access to Healing than non Necro class?
    That the Necro can pump Heal undead out of every city is of no matter – that’s a given; the only question is whether non_Necro can get “enough” Heal Undead.

    Yes, it had full access to racial healing, like every other class. And it does get type-specific healing more than the Sorcerer Dreadnaught. The only classes that have more “normal” healing are the AD, because hero upgrade, and the Theocrat, which is part of it’s class shtick.

    But compared to a Warlord, Rogue, AD and Dreadnaught the Necro has the same amount of ordinary healing access.

    It is a matter. For the non-Necro it is a strategic consideration that requires seeking out certain sites, trying to control specific units and hoping there’s enough around. That is a big difference.

    Getting living units with a Necro (for a living hero) stops to work at all with Harbingers of Death (Ghouling all heroes and leaders and everything in the company of a hero), so you are either finished anyway at that point or forego a powerful tech.
    You can try to ghoul charmers, converters and seducers – which are pretty rare -, you must get healers (possible) you can develop certain heroes…
    but doing so is a lot more dangerous because if such tries fail (befriend animal against spiders is an extremely dangerous move and spider constellations are very dangerous anyway), while the Deathbringer does his magic when HITTING. (They are also tireless and have Total awareness; you DON’T lose them with a little care, and when they gain medals, things become easier and easier).

    So, befriending a spider is dangerous, but marching up a DB to it and hitting it is easy and riskless?
    And now I think I get what you said. But the question isn’t if a Necro better at collecting living units (when it has a dozen ways to make them undead and is in multiple ways restricted from getting them) than a living class at collecting ghouls. That is false equivalency.

    That’s actually quite possible: if both get a DB, it’s a question of who is luckier and can get more “hits” in.

    Except the Necro gets more durable ghouls via Vampiric Hunger, and Reanimator production. The Necro will keep more ghouls around if it generates the same amount.

    That’s the understatement of the year. If you take a (neutral) town, for example, you raise a garrison. And they are no cannon fodder at all. No idea why you have such a low opinion of ghouls and why you talk about LOWER tiers. Keep in mind that Shadowstep works like Phase/Sprint: you unengage, step into the back of the unit that just attacked, land a flanking hit – and there it’s ghouled. And there are lots of effects and ways to reduce their defense and resistance.
    It also doesn’t “cost” except upkeep – but saves units production gold/mana.

    Higher tier units tend to have decent resistance to ghoul curse. You argue as if ghouling was always 100%, which it isn’t. Sure you can up your chances, but when you do that, a Charm will do a better job in the battle. And you can’t simply just debuff enemies as you want against any meaningful opposition.

    And we talked before how ghouls get weaknesses, weaknesses that add up. T1 and T2 unembalmed ghouls, without Necro empire upgrades simply aren’t good units. They work, and they are functional, but you still pay the same upkeep you would pay for their better living versions. They don’t cost production, but that’s why they are useful, not good.
    And ghouling higher tier units takes a bit more effort or luck which makes them less of a guarantee.
    I mean what are you fighting? You port in the back of a strong melee unit (that assumedly walked up to engage the DB) and then your DB is safe and out of harms way? Does it immediately die? Does it have no allies that could attack your DB?
    And frankly, upkeep is quite a cost. The DB takes a goldmine on its own to keep around, all the ghouls it makes will impact your economy. And you can only get what is around, no prodcung counters or adapting strategies.

    WAY too dangerous (see above).

    But a 11 def 60HP unit never is in any danger and a surefire way to success? Strange metric.

    Had you read my initial post (or not forgotten the contents) I actually wrote that too – the difference is, you need a town to produce the stuff. Imagine, the Dread could “whisper” an engineer at a Magma Forge, and because there were sites with machines defending, and Engineers could reassemble destroyed machines (Engineers being an expensive T3)…

    The difference is not that you need to build a couple machines, but the amount by which they are made stronger due to the Dread. By your metrics it is really negligible a price for the reward.
    And Imagine, a counterexample that doesn’t literally do a “imagine if” for every single element of it. It is kinda silly that way.

    No. There is no – or just MINIMAL risk (which would be different if the DB would ghoul you there and then).

    Why do you keep saying that without elaborating why? Running a AD against a couple T2 units is highly dangerous, but running a Necro or DB against T3 is no risk? You make no sense, your classifications of costs and risks are arbitrary and their only point is to non-sequiturially support the argument the make.
    Nothing is dangerous to fight if you have a DB, but every other conversion unit will get murdered and eaten by anything it fights.

    Elaborate why you think Necro-hero and DB conversiosn are so hilariously easy against everything and why any other approach isn’t.

    Think about the missing costs.

    I do, that the slight edge in quantity. And you think about the risks, costs and opportunity costs that the approach does take, and not just those it can reduce.
    Your argument is essentially “It costs less money, if you pay in goods. Therefore it is cheaper” And that is simply not true. It just is a different kind of cost you pay.

    Wrong analysis, simple and easy. DB has Tireless, Total Awareness and Shadowstep on a 1-turn cooldown (usable every other turn). You CAN disengage (every other turn) and flank with 1 AP (what Shadow step does). You HOP along and try to ghoul units.

    And enemies are all permastunned and simply ignore you?
    The analysis includes all these aspects. It just also assumes that the enemy units try to fight you.

    That’s another wrong analysis, because you KNOW what you are facing; it doesn’t come as a surprise, and since Ghouling doesn’t help in battle, you know, you’ll win when you start it, otherwise you don’t.

    Just because you don’t like what I say doesn’t make it wrong. You know what you are facing when fighting neutral units, but part of your complaint was as to the result of a PvP fight, was it not?
    And even if you fight neutral units, do you only ever take the easy fights? Do enemies never crit? Is ghoul curse always applying 100%? Etc.. You are applying optimal conditions to your examples and ignoring anything that could be detrimental, when that is exactly why the strategy is not as imba as you claim it to be. That is why your argument is lacking and why I disagree with you. You found your issue and simplify it to the degree where you are blind to the negatives and then complain about the big number of positives. Balance doesn’t work that way.

    Why? A Firstborn or Shocktrooper is not a recruitment unit.

    Compare it to a Evangelist, Succubus, Nymph, Mermaid, Siren, or Shaman. They all have MCI. MCI is standard on recruitment units. Bards are the exception and nowhere in the same class as these other units.

    Basically there isn’t any reason this situation should exist. You shouldn’t be able to convert a recruitment unit. Problem solved.

    You claimed there was no tradeoff in combat strength. For a similar price you could either bring a better combat unit than the Deathbringer, or a conversion unit (assuming free selection) that if it procs its conversion immediately shifts the battle to your favor. The Deathbringer is neither of those and by including it you are actually trading combat strength for after-combat conversion. The argument you made and I replied to is simply wrong.

    As to consistence with MCI, I disagree, as I see no problem that needs solving, and that is a different argument. The Deathbringer doesn’t work as the other recruitment units, so why should a rule of thumb that doesn’t even apply to all of them apply to it? That is just trying to draw parallels for the sake of it.

    It shouldn’t be possible that a non-Necro Class is out-ghouling the Necro.

    Now, instead of arguing against my suggestion to remove the chance to early Ghoul a lot of units, you should just go ahead and try things yourself, both with a Necro and with a different Class (conveniently in SP). Might be an eye-opener. I mean, ghouling a couple of T3 defenders in that early stage is pretty powerful.

    It is not, the flaw of the scenario you construct, is a Necro failing to pull off his strategy, versus a non-Necro succeeeding. No matter what strategy employed, the one succeeding does naturally have an advantage after.
    Also you gloss over a lot of other factors, like how the non-Necro apparently has an easier time healing (why exactly? oh, because the non-Necro actually is a Theocrat or Arch Druid that gets easier healing access. Why not a Draconian Warlord as the non-Necro and a say Halfling Necromancer with Nourishing Meal on the other side?), then gloss over the fact that for a non-Necro the recruitment pool of undead healers is sharply limited to what can be controlled in some sites and recruited from a particular dwelling, while the Necro can pump them out of every city.
    You say that

    It’s certainly easier to Control Undead with a mercenary Necro and Control more that Heal Undead than playing the other way round with a Necro.

    Why is that? I see no logical path that leads to that conclusion, and I disagree with it. You also kinda neglect to consider that all this focus of the non-Necro on being a bargain bin Necro would take resources away from other aspects, making it a more even trade instead of a powerup.

    You are comparing a Necro at his worst against a Theocrat at its best. A true outghouling would be both succeeding equally and the Necro still having less.

    And I have played SP (and a bit of MP) and done that. It is a strategy that costs resources for an effect. Converting a Deathbringer is probably one of the best ways to get cannon fodder by ghouling lower tier units, with the occasional better one. At the same time similar effort could be poured into an AD hero to befriend and nurture serpents and spiders, leading to 2-3 stacks of T3-4 units (less if you don’t farm XP) that are certainly very powerful too. Or a Dreadnaught with 2 Rams and 3 Trebuchets (Overload, repair, resistances, and coming levels 5 and 7 slayers and reassemble as well as summoning) that can clear out a decent amount of neutral sites, even if you have to be more careful to pick your battles.
    And that’s ignoring class tactics like the famous early stack of exalted martyrs.

    My conclusion is that early Necro-ghouling is a strategy that faces a number of obstacles and and involves some risks and might fall to bad luck. And if it works out it gives you and advantage, same as other strategies. It does excel at the particular aspect of troop quantity it can bring in, but at the same time other approaches excel at other aspects.
    I consider it fun, and fine from a balance point, and while I wont make judgement, if it is perfectly balanced, it is close enough given the many variables of the game.

    For the Deathbringer strategy to work, you only need one Deathbringer. It tags each enemy by attacking and then you kill them off using whatever combo of heroes/units you want. There is no tradeoff in combat strength.

    What you so simply call “tagging” is actually quite a bit of a difference.
    It involves getting the 60HP Def 11 Deathbringer into melee, in which it can take about 3-4 normal attacks, before the next one will kill it off. Then you have to maneuver the Deathbringer either into flanking positions with only 1 AP remaining, or engineer for the target to be unable to retaliate via soaking retaliations or status effect, otherwise the Deathbringer will take one of those few hits bringing it closer to death. Then you have to protect it from additional attack and ranged fire to the same degree. While every “tag” has a decent chance to not work, and you don’t get to retry.

    And after all extra effort to tag the enemies you still have to kill them off conventionally and win the entire battle.

    You say there is no tradeoff in combat strength, but that is wrong. The Deathbringer is not a strong combatant compared to its peers.
    Compare it to a firstborn or shocktrooper. By bringing a Deathbringer you are losing combat strength compared to other options. And if you use the Deathbringer to tag then you lose even more directed damage due to not using it to kill efficiently.
    Other conversion methods on the other hand give you extra combat power immediately if they proc, by providing the target unit to you.

    Pfff. Break control or Dispel or kill caster and your Seduce or Charm goes to nowhere.
    Kill ghoulified unit and it will be yours. Guaranteed.

    (Guarantee does not include losing battles, failures to apply ghoul curse, corpse destruction and similar complications)
    Also one big thing about conversion is that if you convert a stone giant your opponent has one less stone giant and you have one more, right now.
    If you ghoul a stone giant the opponent still has it and you don’t and you still need to deal another 80+ damage to it. And eve n hen you don’t have the extra firepower it provides on your side in the same battle. Quite a bit worse deal short term. And at best equal long-term.

    That’s not true – in fact it’s complete bollocks – because you can’t put effort in. The only effort you can put in is rejecting a perfectly fine hero in the hopes of getting a Necro offered, but there is no guarantee that will happen – in fact chances are AGAINST you – and every turn you reject an otherwise perfectly usable or even well-complementing hero is wasted and actually LOST!

    But here’s the thing. If the Necromancer tactic would be as brokenly OP you say it is, that would be worth it. With the 3 chances per hero recruitment you have a good chance to get a necro during your first turns and a very high chance to get one with the second round of heroes.
    If the ghouled army additions aren’t worth that small risk, then they’re not really that impactful, are they?

    In short, since there is nothing guaranteed, it doesn’t pay to “put effort into it”.
    That leaves the cases when in fact a Necro is offered turn 1, which is 1/7 I’d guess. Also, Necro players don’t count.
    Then there is Autocombat. You can’t tell your Necro hero to try and control the Deathbringer in Autocombat. You also can’t tell your army to be extra careful and pick the right situation for the control effort, making sure the hero survives. Which means, not only is there no guarantee for a payoff – there isn’t even a guarantee for a TRY – nor for a survival of the hero (if you don’t play with resurgence).
    Lastly, ghouling away, you need a way to heal the fraggers, which means you need to get either an Archon dwelling (possible, depending on settings) or Control more undead (again questionable).
    So in autocombat MP this isn’t a viable strategy because it involve too many factors outside of player control.

    And here you list all the downsides and problems with it. Taking these risks and mitigating all these downsides is the effort put it. Even if it requires manual combat, what do you feel should be the adequate payoff for all these troubles here? And why is the ghoul reward that much more?

    Now, that doesn’t mean, it’s not possible with manual – and I wasn’t aware that balance for SP and PBEM doesn’t matter – you seem to think so, which is very arrogant.

    This is you putting words into my mouth and projecting to fight a strawman. I think balance is quite important, but I also do think that not every potentially effective strategy is unbalanced, and so far you haven’t show how what you claim to be OP is actually more than that.
    I’m not disagreeing with you about balance, I’m disagreeing with you about what is too far outside.

    So that whole line of argumentation – can’t be imba, isn’t played in MP – is simply crap.

    Ninjew put it a bit better than you:

    eh. i dunno if this is a valid argument. to my knowledge people aren’t exactly discussing their pro 1337 PBEM or SP strats as much as it happens with live MP, and this is a strategy which kind of relies on being able to manual your fights (or get very, very, very lucky, i suppose). it could just not be prevalent simply because very few people who have tried it decided to share it. PBEM is also a bit less competitive than live MP is, generally, so there might not be as many people who are searching for ways to break the game mechanics. plus the slow pace of PBEM makes developing strategies for it a little difficult: your new strategy takes months to bear fruit!

    People do discuss these thing. Less than MP tactics, but people stream, youtube and post on here, on the Steam Forums, on something awful and a number of other places on the web about their SP and PBEM experiences. Also EL and PBEM have been around for a while by now. And effective tactics spread. Many people will try to copy good strategies they see used against them.
    And the lack of “recruit necro, go zombie apocalypse” practically everywhere is indicating that this particular strategy while certainly not bad, might just not be as much of a powerplay as JJ thinks it is.

    Are you dabbling with mind-reading now? These are just assumption without any valuue.

    It is rather easy when the mind in question wrote its thoughts on the internet.

    The well of souls exist solely to allow other classes ghoul armies,

    And there I thought it would allow Necro Class to heal their Ghouls and ghoul the units you may get as rewards.

    No, that’s what Embalmers Guild and Lich Aura exist for. And if wells of souls were for Necros, the conversion and healing would have found a good place on corrupted springs of life for example. No, the Well of souls is a generic map location for a reason, and that reason is not the Necromancer.

    Also you should go back and read the threads for all the pre-EL necromancer announcements, many of the things you reject here were talked about in them and actually asked for.

    Dude you don’t even know how Inflict Chouls Curse WORKS, for frag’s sake!And YOU know what? Ghouled units raised after battle are GREAT, because you don’t have to pay for their production or summoning. They have 1 less resistance than their counterpart and cannot regenerate, but they are immune against most everything, Blight, and a lot of cold and gain vulnerabilities from that. It’s not like you’d PRODUCE the units, then make them worse – you are just ADDING them, like summoning them, except you pay only upkeep. If you don’t see the advantage of that, play another game.

    No, it’s nonsense. He isn’t even aware that the unit inflicting the Ghoul Curse doesn’t have to kill the victim.

    Fun stuff, accusing me of lack of knowledge and accidentally professing the same in the same paragraph.

    OK, I worded that wrong. You don#t have to kill the unit with the ghoul curse. You just have to engage the target unit (hopefully a powerful one) in melee with either the Deathbringer, who is not that powerful stat-wise or the leveled Necromancer hero, before the target unit dies. Then if that attack doesn’t kill it (the preferable outcome) you have to soak the retaliation, and maybe more then one, unless you put tactical effort in to negate it. And then you need to do the same thing again on the next unit you want to ghoul, and hopefully have your Deathbringer survive all of that.
    Small difference.

    Actually the ghoul penalty is 1 Defense, not 1 Resistance, a stat that is attacked quite a bit more often. Also extra spirit weakness.
    What You see as strong resistances, I don’t. Blight is the most commonly and easily resisted type anyway, so you will rarely get into situations where the resistance is a major factor against smart enemies, while cold is the rarest type to be inflicted, whereas fire is the most common and spirit is a type that is like cold not too often resisted, but a bit easier to gain.
    The major resistance bonus for ghouls I consider the immunity to some effects, and that is still IMHO something that at best makes them situationally on par with their living selves.

    And true, you don’t have to produce them, but the price for that is the gamble of combat, and the damage you take, to get a weaker version of a unit that costs still the same upkeep. A trade that is altogether positive, but needs to be weighted against the effort and cost to actually do it.

    Also: you might want to read the posts correctly first next time you write something – the proposed solution would actually make the Deathbringer and Necro Hero Inflict Ghoul Curse ability a once-per battle ability, while a (mid game) Necro Class tech ONLY would bring Necro heroes and Deathbringers to the current Inflict Ghoul situation, so everyone could STILL go Necro – they just couldn’t Ghoul 4 units off one battle with 1 Deathbringer or Necro hero, but just ONE per combat. Necro Class players, however, could STILL do it – they could even pull the Control Deathbringer stunt – only AT THAT GAME STAGE Deathbringers just couldn’t ghoul more than unit per game.

    Please consider taking your advice for yourself, it does apply.

    So please allow me to ask: what is the problem with ghouling 4 units? I suppose that means the Deathbringer needs to have won and fought in melee with each one, probably getting damaged and such and yet through tactical cunning of its player still surviving all these fights? Seems kinds unproblematic, as if the Deathbringer is such a major factor, there was certainly major effort to kill it off that was thwarted?

    The Produce Deathbringer tech costs 800 Research, and you have to spend roughly the same amount to unlock it. It’s supposed to take some time, until Deathbringers enter the fray.

    So THAT is my problem: early access to a unit that is very powerful and costs 1500-1600 research to unlock.

    Do you think that is a good price for the Deathbringer? Do you think the Deathbringer as you suggest validates the research and building investment?
    I mean we are talking about a unit that, besides ghoul curse, is just slightly stronger than a berserker yet takes a ton of extra research and 2 extra class building to recruit at more than twice the production price.

    Whether it’s “balanced” or not isn’t decided by whether it was a prevalent strategy.

    It is. If the strategy was as overpowering as you claim it to be, people would go for it, not just by chance of getting a Necro, but putting effort in to get one. A strategy that is so unbalanced and that it massively increases your victory chances will see a lot of play. The Necro hero ghoul one does not.
    It sees the same play as any other valid strategy based around some chancy elements.

    It doesn’t feel RIGHT,

    Yet during the lead-up to EL, a lot of people specifically asked for these things because they felt right and necessary for them.

    Frankly I think this is the big sticking point. It’s neither OP, nor more unbalanced than many other things. But you don’t like it. It doesn’t fit the symmetry and your design preferences. An d the Necro as a class that is very different from the others triggers that feeling for you a lot.
    And you now try to frame it as balance issue to validate your gut feeling. It simply is a preference. Nothing more, and the fact that people feel different about it, and especially found the things that now feel wrong to you integral to Necromancy done right, shows that.
    The well of souls exist solely to allow other classes ghoul armies, ghoul course exists to allow people to raise their enemies. Deathbringers lack MCI so other classes can dabble. That is by design and it’s working insofar that it allows every class to add some undead to their roster.
    And you know what? Unembalmed ghouls without the Necros empire upgrades aren’t good. they are mediocre and to gain them you have to kill their better, living counterpart with a specific unit first.
    To get the critical mass of them takes some effort, and a strategy that rewards effort appropriately is good to have in a game. Like all the others.

    Control undead is quite cheap to forge. As such the tactic is available to everyone, the time a bit dependent on hero luck. As you can see Deathbringer defenders before engaging them, you don’t even run the risk of killing all in your area before you get it.

    As multiplayer hasn’t been overrun by undead hordes in the last months, I don’t think it is unbalanced, just one strategy that can pay off.

    in reply to: Heart structures as MCUs #215860

    I dunno, care to explain your idea?

    For example a rather simple approach:
    Heartstone of Fire (City Building):
    You get Fire specialization +1. If you already have Fire Mastery, fire spells cost you 20% less to cast.
    All your heroes can learn Fire Adepts spells.
    The city this building is in will periodically be attacked by fire elementals.

    in reply to: Heart structures as MCUs #215749

    Wouldn’t it be more fitting to have the Hearts interact with the specializations?

    in reply to: What's your best city so far? #215092

    I didn’t realize that having several of the same type of structure will allow bonuses to stack, that’s really cool. This does bring up a question though. If someone has, for example, 2 Sphinx Temples (pikemen get +2 defense and Blinding Aura) does the strength of the Blinding Aura increase along with the +4 to defense?

    Some of these cities you all mention sound incredible, having multiples of the same structure would make some super-powered units!

    They don’t stack, you can build the mystical city upgrade structure only once.
    The one city where I empathized multiple of some building was before MCUs and because they were mostly production sites, leading tot he city having a final production of about 380, which was enough to build any unit in 1 turn, and the two shrines give every stack sent to the frontlines additional buffs for their next battle.

    in reply to: What's your best city so far? #214966

    Pre-expanions I managed to get a city with 2 Shrines, 4(!!) dungeons, a flowrock quarry, 3 magma forges, a heart and I think a great farm and some gold mines.

    That thing pumped out armies very quickly.

    Current game is less impressive, but I managed to have city with a spring, lich king castle, crystal tree and dungeon as necro, for though cavalry and monstrous deathbringers.

    in reply to: Class & Race Survey #213643

    * I prefer separate picking a classes with its own set of skills, over a global skill tree that all players can choose from.

    Gave no opinion for this one, because it is not really something that can easily answered with the options given.

    Both approaches can be fun and interesting, if done well. Class-based has the advantage of making the entities more distinct and allowing more extremes, whereas freeform can lead to interesting combinations and creativity. Both however can also fail at being an engaging system, and they are mutually exclusive without compromising their strengths.

    So yeah, neither agree nor disagree, if it works it works.

    in reply to: Dwarven Deathbringer Perk #211397

    Dwarven +1 DEF +1 RES is a really, really good innate, especially on the higher tiers of units. And given the amount of armored available in combination with meteoric armor RG, any other bonus for a dwarven unit has to be well-considered.

    Maybe expand the dwarven military RG 3 to give inspiring aura to Firstborn and Deathbringers?

    in reply to: Why are all the class units the same? #211213

    Armor, shield, and pike can all still be part of the unit outfit and visible in their silhouette (Same with Musketeer armor and gun). That doesn’t preclude racially-influenced detailing of the weapons, armor, and helms.

    No it doesn’t. But for the visuals to fulfill their function they have to be minor in impact. So we have racial-specific textures for each class unit as a solution. As most class units have specific equipment, that means making about 200 additional unit textures, or 600 if we assume separate textures for armor, weapon and helmet.
    That is a ton of work that needs to be payed for and at no point it is not a good investment of resources for the devs.
    So outside of a mod it wont happen, and that is a very reasonable decision.

    in reply to: A small question about diplomatic relations #211105

    Also unmentioned so far: alignment. every step towards good gives a +100 to relations whereas every step towards evil gives -100.
    As all modifiers are bidirectional, being pure good means from +0 to +600 to diplomatic relations whereas neutral would have -300 to +300.

    in reply to: Why are all the class units the same? #211091

    As a justification, I always assume that class is much more dominant for an empire than race is.

    “The Armor is part of standard Musketeer Equipment, and it keeps them alive a little bit longer. I don’t care if those Draconians like it or not. They will wear it.

    —Could be a possible Quote from a Dreadnought Leader.

    Also a class unit is majorly that unit and the race rarely is a big factor, so even to keep form aligned with function would require the class aesthetics to be dominant. And once an army includes multiple races and units types, it is really more convenient to see at a glance which unit is what type instead of seeing discerning its race.

    Also here the Phalanx description, because it fits so well:

    ‘I gathered the most vigorous orcs of my forces and informed them they would be wearing armor, hefting a shield and wielding a pike. All three of these bits of news they scoffed at. After decapitating their chieftain they agreed to fight according to my way, with soldiers gathered as a wedge, shields tight together like a wall, crawling across the battlefield with pikes extended. I will admit only a skilled Warlord can create the discipline required to create a phalanx from his troops, but once mastered, the troops that engage in the technique will live a lot longer.’

    –The Economics of Ego, by Lady Loki

    in reply to: Why are all the class units the same? #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.

    in reply to: Why are all the class units the same? #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.

    There’s summons with all the old elemental masteries, and I don’t see a synergy with every single class and every elemental.

    Those masteries require no alignment dedication and have all one spell that is at least on the assumed same level as the T3 elementals.

    Also the elementals align with no class better or worse by anything other than being summons.
    The Angels on the other hand all have a basic troop type that is able to grab the nice bonuses the class provides. Stunning, phasing Arch Angels, Chtonic Guardians with Martial Arts or backstabbing Fallen Angels.

    The two classes that are exceptions are the Dreadnought and the Necromancer.
    The Dreadnought because its bonuses apply to machines, cavalry and archers and none of the angels is that.
    The necromancer because its bonuses and spells almost all apply to undead. That is not an issue for the two of the angels can be ghouled. And then there is the Arch Angel. It is a big glaring exception among the angels for no discernible reasons.
    It is the big alignment reward specialization summon that fits into your class lineup, except if you are a good necromancer.

    The issue is not the lack of general synergy, it is the lack of synergy for this particular combination that has no reason to be and does not exist for any other combination.

    The issue is not one of power, but one of having your big shiny specialization special unit not integrate with your entire army and class and no option to change that.
    It can be useful and it can be annoying, but all the Necros “undead” stuff doesn’t work with it.
    The presence of the Arch Angel is always a “special case” for the Necro, that needs special considerations. And not necessarily in a good way. There is no way to change that, and it is the final “reward” of one of the alignment specializations.
    And that in a class whose base structure is doing the opposite of that.

    in reply to: Undead Upkeep #210284

    Also hero can be ghouls, you can ghoulify them with ghoul curse.

    Only the Incarnate, though it also appeared in the Item Forge (which was OP…you could complete any campaign if you could do the first level, because you could just forge OP item sets for your heroes.)

    Also on the necromancer, the vampire at gold medal and the sphinx at silver.
    And while the forge might have been highly problematic in campaigns, it was less so in random maps or multiplayer.

    But the thing is 4 units with Drain Will, some which were not too uncommon as guards and the possibility to craft it when you were unlucky meant that Willpower made a creature harder to control, but not impossible.
    In AoW3 MCI makes it simply impossible with no way around.
    And that is one reason ghouling is so popular. It give you options and makes it more interesting instead of removing options and making the game less interesting.

    Shouldn’t this be taken care of with the Harbingers of Death empire upgrade? Which would be researched by the time you get Arch Angels summons.

    You do however sort of have wasted abilities on the Arch Angel in that case. Healing is useless by that point unless you’ve got Dragons or Elementals in your armies, and I don’t know if Inspiring Aura affects the Undead. I assume not though.

    AFAIK you can’t ghoul the Arch Angel. Full stop. I haven’t seen it since the patch that changed it. All the healing the necromancer gets heals undead, which the Archangel isn’t and can’t be. Same for most Necro empire upgrades.
    The unghouled Arch Angel is a unit that simply does not interact with anything Necromancer, the ghouled Arch Angel did.
    There is no other specialization option that works so little with a class since Condemn Killing was changed. And it is the big T4 summon of that specialization.

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