Zakharov

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  • in reply to: Discussion: The Future of 4X #241797

    Zakharov
    Member

    I wonder how difficult it is to have flavor as evocative in Alpha Centauri in other games. My view is that Alpha Centauri’s success comes mostly from two things:

    • A small number of leaders each with unique flavor and personality, expressed in diplomacy, with every game (by default) having exactly one of each leader.
    • Voice acted quotes, often by said leaders, when you research technologies or build buildings for the first time

    Good writing, of course, ties this together.

    I think Age of Wonders could do something similar. Alpha Centauri has seven factions; Age of Wonders has seven classes. If you gave each class a single leader and constructed a backstory for the world involving those leaders, that’d be a start. Give the leader a set of values and a personality (AoW goes the opposite direction; you can have good Theocrats and evil Theocrats). Making the cities of each class look different would be the next step. Give some flavor to the technologies, make the flavor of units and buildings more prominent.

    in reply to: Discussion: The Future of 4X #241785

    Zakharov
    Member

    I agree with Rob. I think being able to tell a story is not necessary in a 4X, but is valuable. Age of Wonders doesn’t do a very good job of that, largely due to the fact that it’s not a conventional 4X but rather a cross between a 4X and an RTS-style skirmish map (I didn’t like the campaign very much, but I don’t like RTS campaigns either). I’d rather that AoW was a full-fledged 4X game, but I’d guess most AoW players are AoW players because they like what the game is offering.

    The focus of Age of Wonders is on the tactical combat, and it’s got the best tactical combat of any game I’ve played. Having good tactical combat doesn’t necessarily mean having a bad strategic layer, though, and to be honest I think AoW does have a bad strategic layer.

    A game of Civilization 5 tells a story. I start as Venice, and discover the Shoshone. They turn hostile, but I don’t have nearly the military strength needed to attack them, so I ally with the Persians to contain them. Trade and religious links strengthen our relationship; I assist the Persians in their war with the Polynesians. I focus for a time on exploration, economic development, and spreading my religion. In the Modern era, factions take form, with the Persian-Venetian Communist block facing off against the Shoshone-Babylonian democratic bloc. A world war erupts, and by the end of of it a third of the world is occupied by the city-states I armed and funded. Eventually my influence over these city-states results in me being elected world leader and ending the game.

    Age of Wonders can’t tell a story anything like that. Part of it is due to the game length and the almost 100% military-focused strategic layer. The biggest part is due to the weakness of the diplomatic system. I can’t form any kind of meaningful relationship with another player. Wars don’t occur on well-defined fronts; armies are running around wherever and undefended or lightly-defended cities are flipping to stacks of doom. Once I conquer another player, I’ve almost instantly snowballed to twice my original strength and victory is guaranteed.

    What I want to see is a game with the excellent setting and writing of Alpha Centauri, the pacing and storytelling ability of Civilization 5, the mechanical innovations of Endless Legend and the unit diversity, tactical combat and fascinating exploration of Age of Wonders 3.

    in reply to: Mystical City Upgrades #228075

    Zakharov
    Member

    Now that mod tools are available I’ve been thinking more about this. I think it makes sense for the easier treasure sites to have 50G 50M upgrades, and the stronger sites to have more expensive (150-200 production) but stronger upgrades.

    Blood Altar – 100G 75M. City does not receive penalties for Hurry Production. Produced cavalry units get Blood Sacrifice (whenever this unit kills an enemy unit, all allied units get +1 melee damage and this unit heals for 10 HP).

    Support units already get buffed by Altar of Bound Souls and Magic Academy, while Cavalry only get Stables.

    Library of the Dark Arts – 75G 100M. Infantry and Monsters get +2 melee damage and Fear Strike.

    Slaughter Pits – 50G 50M. Infantry gets +2 melee damage and Killing Momentum.

    Solar Spire – 75G 75M. Pikemen get +2 defense and Radiance (deals 7 spirit damage to all adjacent enemy units at the start of their turn).

    Mariner’s Guild – 50G 50M. Produced Swimming and Seafaring units get +1 defense, +1 physical melee damage and +1 physical ranged damage.

    in reply to: The problem with infantry #228071

    Zakharov
    Member

    I suspect the reason is so that your relatively squishy T1s don’t get killed as often in autocombat, though it’s hardly an ideal solution to the problem.

    in reply to: Mod Idea: Racial Governance Overhaul #227053

    Zakharov
    Member

    I’d love to hear your ideas.

    in reply to: Favorite Unit and Why #226752

    Zakharov
    Member

    Evangelist, because he makes his own army.

    in reply to: Mystical City Upgrades #226293

    Zakharov
    Member

    My thinking on MCU pricing is that if you settle a city in the mid-game, you should be able to get it producing units while they’re still relevant. I think 50 gold and 50 mana is a fair price for the early-game upgrades, coming in at twice the price of a rank upgrade for a generally slightly better effect.

    I’ll throw out some suggestions:

    Altar of Bound Souls – 50G 150M.

    Arcane Catalyst – 0G 100M.

    Blood Altar – 25G 50M.

    Library of the Dark Arts – 25G 100M.

    Enchanted Armory – 50G 50M.

    Flowrock Citadel – 50G 50M.

    Focus Chamber – 50G 50M.

    Magic Academy – 50G 50M.

    Mariner’s Guild – no idea how this should be costed, how do you even use it?

    Mercenary Camp – 50G 50M.

    Pillar of the Stylites – 50G 50M.

    Shrine of Animation – 25G 75M. Same price as racial defensive buildings.

    Slaughter Pits – Not sure on this one. It’s only useful for necro, theo, orc and dwarf, so it’s hard to make it useful for others without being overpowered for those.

    Solar Spire – 50G 50M. It’s about as good as Pillar, it should cost the same.

    Stables of Vigor (Unlife) – 50G 50M.

    in reply to: Bots ignoring my armies just walk past #226292

    Zakharov
    Member

    I had the opposite problem in a game I played yesterday. It was 1v5. I had a well fortified city on the main route between the AI territories and my territories. The AI tried to take it once early on, and failed. They never tried again, nor did they put much effort into bypassing the city to take my relatively poorly-defended cities, or my cities with unity beacons. I suspect that each AI formulated a plan of “take Winterblossom, then move further”, realized they didn’t have armies strong enough to take the city (individually, that is, they would have had a shot working together), and decided to build up their forces before attacking. The game ended before that point.

    The most obvious fix would be to make the AI prioritize taking beacon cities.

    in reply to: Your favourite tactics #226290

    Zakharov
    Member

    Ugh can’t edit, hellfire is apparently most damaging from all combat spells – it does 80 pts of damage – 30 phys / 50 fire
    So dreadnought bomb is weaker than this.
    Does Storm Magic buff it to 120 pts (45/75)?
    And what can make Hellfire even more powerful?
    Or you just use it twice/thrice per round if you have powerful economy?

    You can’t get both Hellfire and Storm Magic because that would require both Fire and Destruction mastery.

    Roaming independents attack my empty cities, though not in the early game. I’m subscribed to the beta, if that changes anything.

    in reply to: Racial Balance Discussion #225598

    Zakharov
    Member

    I like Ninjew’s idea of 75% ranged falloff, maybe remove the line of sight penalties to compensate. They can do decent damage at close range and melee (give ’em warcry too), or at a distance support infantry, even when engaged, with bleeding wounds and exhausting fatigue (at bronze?).

    in reply to: Your favourite tactics #225597

    Zakharov
    Member

    the ol’ goblineer swarm is a lot of fun

    What’s that?


    Zakharov
    Member

    this is false. Necromancer has never been about “crazy buffed up racial units” what are these crazy buffs??? 300 happiness? lol. Banshees/Reanimators are two of the strongest T2s in the game when used with synergy. allowing you to clear mythics (AC) as soon as you have healers of the dead researched with no losses and hardly any damage.

    Healers of the Dead, Vampiric Hunger, Power Ritual, Harbingers of Death and Enemy of the Faith all buff racial units. Reanimators are amazing, but you often also want some racial supports to cover their weaknesses.

    in reply to: Racial Balance Discussion #225502

    Zakharov
    Member

    How about giving Razorbows 10 ranged damage, but Short range? They are, after all, shortbows. I also like giving them Inflict Exhausting Fatigue at gold medal instead of First Strike, to better support your melee units.

    in reply to: Mod Idea: Racial Governance Overhaul #225494

    Zakharov
    Member

    Thanks for your feedback!

    …but you just made Store House add +1 anyway, along with the other buildings, meaning that while I can see the RG1 threshold going down, and RG2 staying as it currently is, the rest should actually increase.

    Good point. 10 100 500 1100 1300 might be better.

    Shrines and Temples would make more sense, although it also wouldn’t, due to modifying a T2 building.

    Shrines and Labs are fairly similar buildings, and you often want both in any city building supports.

    Why was RG4 moved to 3 AND buffed?

    Moved to 3 because it’s more unique than the current rather dull 3, and buffed to keep its power level similar to other RG3s.

    Personally, I find it to be a pretty nice upgrade, and making it boost the already good Infantry on top of things is a bit off. Consider Goblin 2, for example. At best, +5 HP to both the Harpoon and the Raider.

    Goblin 2 buffs a unit that’s already really good. Maybe +10 HP for harpoons and +5 for raiders.

    Going from Mammoth Riders only, to all Cavalry and Infantry is quite the boost.

    All cavalry is just Mammoths and Manticores, which I don’t think is interesting enough for an RG3 on its own, but yeah, it is.

    Look at the scope of other RG1 upgrades, and realize that they either give a minor boost to a single unit, or an even more minor boost to two units.

    It only buffs two units given that you can only play one class, and martyrs and scoundrels effectively replace the untouchable. If it’s broken it would be because of monster hunters; warlord playes, would sprinting projectile resistance monster hunters be OP?

    If it’s going to work on both, then definitely only +5.

    Fair point, Trolls are pretty good already.

    Military 5: Infantry, Pikemen, Cavalry and Irregular units get +2 blight melee damage and Inflict Weakened. Archer and Support units get +2 blight ranged damage and Inflict Enfeebling Fever.
    Economic 5: All goblin racial units gain Volunteer (this stacks with the Volunteer many of them get at Veteran).

    Both of those are massive in scope, obscenely so.

    Compare the military one to human 5. I could see removing Inflict Enfeebling Fever, I added it mostly for symmetry.

    Bear in mind that Economic 5 doesn’t affect class units; I’d guess it’s comparable to Human 5.

    Kind of surprised you ignored Military 1, in light of some of the other proposals.

    +1 defense +2 melee is a fairly substantial buff to Nightwatch, I think it’s fine.

    Economic 2: Laboratories generate +5 knowledge and observatories generate +10 knowledge

    That’s hefty, and crazy to get +15 Knowledge for an RG2.

    Fair point. How about +5 on each?

    Economic 5: Produce Merchandise, Generate Mana, Seek Knowledge and Build Housing all provide +100% bonuses instead of +50%.

    It’s already one of the strongest. Does it need to be made even better?

    If that’s the case I guess it doesn’t; I always picked military because it seemed much more immediately useful that late into the game.

    in reply to: What race is best for Warlords Raise Militia? #225356

    Zakharov
    Member

    Humans are clearly the best. While normally the choice between nets and cheap settlers for RG1 is hard, for warlord it’s no choice at all. Tons of expendable volunteer netspammers early is amazing.

    Though if what you specifically want the spell for is to garrison cities against all those lost souls, then elves and draconians are the only choice.

    No choice at all? With War Effort and +10 production per city? Human warlord RG1 is the toughest racial governance choice in the game.


    Zakharov
    Member

    Migrating cities is a good way to drop alignment if you have some cities of races you don’t care about. Declaring war on independents is also good.

    in reply to: cluttering mass expansion #225290

    Zakharov
    Member

    Is settler spam something people do with every race/class, or only with humans, tigrans and warlords? By settler spam I mean building multiple outposts in locations with no treasure sites, not building half a dozen settlers in the first 20 turns and settling them in sensible locations.

    If it’s only a problem with certain races or classes, modifying the per-city bonuses would be a better idea than adding penalties that apply to everybody.


    Zakharov
    Member

    Degenerate ought to work too.


    Zakharov
    Member

    In my game today I had a Warlord with 80% physical and frost resistance, 100% everything else. I could have got to all 100% if I found the 60% elemental resistance armor.

    in reply to: cluttering mass expansion #224608

    Zakharov
    Member

    I think building a lot of settlers early on, and settling them in all available sensible locations, is fine. What’s not fine is building 20+ settlers and planting a dense forest of outposts with no treasure sites.

    Earlier I suggested modifying race governance and removing Monoculture. If that isn’t enough, replace War Effort’s +10 gold per city with +20% gold per city, and Gray Guard master’s +5 gold per city with +10% gold per city. That nerfs settler spam without nerfing settlement in general.

    in reply to: cluttering mass expansion #224500

    Zakharov
    Member

    Let’s look at the pros and cons of spamming settlers (i.e. cities in locations with few/no treasure sites):

    – Per-city bonuses (e.g. +5 gold for Tigrans, +5 gold for GG master, +10 gold for War Effort)
    – Race happiness (which affects unit/city morale) & governance
    – Ability to build shrines & labs (more efficient than temples/observatories in other cities, and doesn’t have an opportunity cost)
    – Vision
    – Hepatopia & Monoculture

    And the cons:

    – Delayed army production, meaning:
    — You are vulnerable to being attacked
    — You can’t capture as many independent cities
    — You have a harder time clearing treasure sites
    – Harder to effectively defend your large empire

    I think this shows three main issues. First, outposts pay themselves off very quickly. Second, settler spam is the most effective way to boost your racial governance. Finally, the Monoculture bonus is too good at compensating for the lack of an early army.

    I’m fine with the first issue in isolation. In single player it’s a good way to compete with Emperors on production, in multiplayer it’s fine to have a high-risk-high-reward economic strategy.

    The second issue can be fixed by tying racial governance more strongly to something other than total population, such as advanced buildings (maybe the storehouse, bath, hospital, palace line), and by removing/reducing the race happiness benefits to settler spam.

    The final issue can be fixed by getting rid of Monoculture.

    in reply to: What is the Probability of City Happiness Events? #224498

    Zakharov
    Member

    They only occur if the city is Cheerful, with around a 20-25% per city per turn. As far as I know all the events are equally likely.


    Zakharov
    Member

    In the short term, you can produce more units if you have cities produce merchandise instead of happiness buildings. You can use these units to gain a long-term advantage.

    in reply to: Specialization balance thread – Elemental #224162

    Zakharov
    Member

    I was getting my info from the wiki, which seems to be out-of-date in parts. It has Zephyrs at 30 movepoints and Freeze at 80 CP; I think both spells are fine as they currently are in-game.

    in reply to: Class technology balance thread #224158

    Zakharov
    Member

    I always play Keeper of the Peace Rogue, maybe Brigands are better if you don’t have Incite Revolt + Rally of the Populace for 1-crow city-sniping.

    Double Gravity is a perfectly fine spell, I just don’t see why it should come so late and at so high a price. Sorcerors already have plenty of late game combat spells.


    Zakharov
    Member

    The medal for supports is on the Laboratory.

    My suggestion: Switch the order of Hospital and Public Baths. Make Hospital cost 100G, give +100 happiness and heals every unit in the city domain by 50% of their max HP per turn. Make Public Baths cost 200G, +150 happiness +100 pop. Getting an early Hospital is a way to regen your early creeping units if you keep them near your hospital city.

    Maybe Grand Temple should grant truesight in the city’s domain? Supports get truesight, so it’s thematically appropriate for the support chain to give truesight.

    in reply to: Challenge Modes #224017

    Zakharov
    Member

    I like the dwelling one, I’ll try that.

    One other one I’ve tried but forgot to include:

    Lacking Class – Build only racial units. Best with ironman+teams+MR.


    Zakharov
    Member

    I haven’t had many mana troubles as a necro; building shrines in most cities covers it, building temples in every city would be overkill before having to resort to grand temples.

    in reply to: Mend Magical Creature #223988

    Zakharov
    Member

    How about making it 20 HP with a 2 turn cooldown, like Healing and Heal Undead? My experience is that Necros already have fantastic healing, especially in the beta where you usually start with another Necro hero.

    in reply to: cluttering mass expansion #223683

    Zakharov
    Member

    How about just removing Monoculture? It’s not a very interesting quest given its similarity to Hepatopia, and the 3 free T3 units are a big incentive to settler spam.

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 56 total)