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Balance issues & suggestions

Discussion in 'Orbis Modmod' started by Wauthan, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. Wauthan

    Wauthan Inaniloquent Nihiliarian

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    I noticed that comments about gameplay balance are spread around bit. I thought that perhaps making a dedicated thread could help Ahwaric keep track of them (or at least get them out of the bug thread). As well as allowing us players to discuss the ups and downs of Orbis.

    Game balance is subjective and, as always, the vision of the mod creator is what matters in the end.
     
  2. Wauthan

    Wauthan Inaniloquent Nihiliarian

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    Orbis 24 B

    - Guilds -> Three Field Order & The Prospectors guild

    Rain and gloom during my vacation makes for an excellent opportunity to run a very long game. I noticed just how strong the Three-Field Order and the Prospectors Guild are.

    The issue is not the guild bonus in itself. It's that the guilds both have buildings that directly adds to this bonus (so it's actually 10% stronger) and that their UUs can spawn resources that adds to the guild bonus. Not to mention that farms and quarries can spawn these resources on their own. Also, I can build castles to harvest these resources far away from my core empire. Trade brings in even more.

    In a short game this isn't much of an issue but in a long game this bonus can easily run into +30 :food: & :hammers: or higher. It's a great way expand your empire, to say the least, and it would not be a problem if I had to fight, trade or expand to get it. Heck, it's a nice viable game winning strategy all on it's own. I just feel that it's too easy to achieve it.

    Suggestion: Nerf the bonus granted by these two guilds by 25%. That their UUs can spawn new resources is a great bonus already.
     
  3. Wauthan

    Wauthan Inaniloquent Nihiliarian

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    - Units -> Assassins

    Am I the only one that feel that assassins are way overpowered? It's a unit that targets the weakest unit in the enemy stack. Why does it need to be strong enough to take on heavy infantry? With the ranged attack feature in Orbis it's very easy to whittle down any enemy stack to the point that assassins can wreak havoc.

    Suggestion: Nerf attack strength by -2, putting an assassin on par with a hunter and block the ability to get the Subdue Animal promotion. This nerf will also bring the Svartalfar in line somewhat.
     
  4. Wauthan

    Wauthan Inaniloquent Nihiliarian

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    - Units -> Adepts, Mages & Archmages

    Seriously underpowered units in Orbis. Brought on by the fact that Ahwaric have already improved all other unit classes (improved promotions, great general buildings, stronger economies) but spells remain in their FFH shape.

    I find that I never actually build these units. It's a waste of time and effort because when I finally have to tech the create archmages I no longer have a reason to field them. Just like in the D&D rpg, that lies at the root of FFH, mages are outclassed by clerics, though they are more flexible.

    Suggestion: I'm stumped to tell the truth. I can't ask Ahwaric to rework the spells, which is likely a huge undertaking, just to make mages useful. And I wouldn't know where to start since I don't have any idea what role the units are supposed to fill. Hopefully other players have given this more thought.
     
  5. Wauthan

    Wauthan Inaniloquent Nihiliarian

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    - Leader Traits -> Strong traits & weak traits

    This is where I think a lot of playtesting and feedback is needed. A lot of the changes Ahwaric has done really makes Orbis very different from FFH. Small things add up and leader traits are difficult to balance as it is.

    I've noticed that Charismatic leaders are doing incredibly well in my games, especially by late game. Most likely this is due to various xp bonuses (buildings, civics) working well with the faster leveling.

    Peace with animals is a very strong trait right now considering the powerful animal faction. The Ljosalfar dominates every game I've encountered them in so far. Compared to animals the barbarians and demons are a fairly static challenge. Since animals grow in power, and spawn in larger numbers then the others, this gives Peace with animals two great powers. Fast early expansion and, perhaps unexpectedly, a strong defense from other civs. When i launched a major attack on the Ljosalfar last night I didn't expect to be set upon by hordes of barbarian animals. Between that and the spawning of treants from ancient forests one can say that the elves were a lot better protected then I expected.

    The Minor trait is very easy to compensate for. Perhaps too easy. The minor AI leaders tend to found a religion and go Spiritual or get Raiders early from their usual pillaging sprees.

    Suggestion: Merely the observation that Charismatic and Peace with animals are traits that are stronger then expected. The Minor leader feature is a lot of fun but perhaps need to be revised slightly both allow the AI a bit more flexibility and let the player get specific traits, rather then from random chance.
     
  6. sputnik323

    sputnik323 Magelord

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    Nerfing --- I'm generally against any nerfing because all of the games that use nerfing seem to just have one balance issue after another... meaning that once they nerf one thing something else takes the top of the pile and that too must be nerfed. Especially with this game, many things are dependent on luck, a beelined tech, or the AI not fully utilizing some mechanic. With that said, I'm also not suggesting that a nerf is never appropriate.

    However, in most cases I would rather see things balanced with counters. For example if assassins are too powerful (which they certainly can be) I would rather make guardian easier to gain than to make them weaker.

    I bring this up only cause I have seen many games nerf things in the name of balance only to ruin many of the cool mechanics the game had designed. The original concept of FFH was to have many things overpowered equally which has been pretty successful.

    So I'm not shooting down anything mentioned, they may be great changes... I'm just reminding people who post and read to take caution in what they think should be nerfed cause the result may be a nicely balanced 'bleh' game.
     
  7. Senshi

    Senshi Chieftain

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    Easier to achieve guard units (better said: the promotion) certainly would be nice. Had a nice LAN game with Doviello (allied) and Amurites (me). When we declared war on the Ljosalfar, we blocked some passes in the mountain ranges with a combination of heavy infantry and some of my mages (didn't have archmages yet). Well, that didn't hold long. In about 3 rounds all mages were massacred by the dozens of assassins running around, even the main stack guarded by some "guard" infantry got killed as the assassins just overran the guards...:(

    And I don't think it should be necessary to build (and train!) dozens of guard units for every mage you build, considering that mages (even as amurite) are not that great.
     
  8. Wauthan

    Wauthan Inaniloquent Nihiliarian

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    Thanks Senshi. I was hoping someone else would make my point for me. :D I think you've captured the issue in a nutshell in the quoted remark. I don't really know what a good solution would be though.

    Either Assassins gets a general nerf or the Guardsman promotion grants a unit a massive bonus (say +50%) against Assassins, if possible, or Recon units in general. The attacking player would then have to counter that unit with something else, probably another melee infantry.

    And be glad you were up against the Ljosalfar. The Svartalfar recon units are nigh unstoppable in a one on one fight. Those extra +2 attack strength really adds up when the unit gains percentage bonuses.

    As bizarre as it might sound I found that a good counter against Assassins are ranged units, particularly Crossbowmen, as the defensive strikes happens right before combat takes place. After a while the Archmages in my stack had taken out so many perforated Assassins that they were strong enough to take them on without bodyguards! :crazyeye:

    Not the most intuitive counter perhaps but it seems to work.
     
  9. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    arcanes need buffs, for example, why not have fire 2 give +0/1 fire buff? not over powered but would make mages more likely to survive
     
  10. sputnik323

    sputnik323 Magelord

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    something like this would be cool to add. Or I think it would be fun to add elemental affinity that is capped. I think I was reading somewhere that people are modding a cap to affinity somewhere. This could be used to make all kinds of improvements to units and more unique items.
     
  11. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    indeed....
     
  12. zup

    zup Chieftain

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    As long as individual units can be set to unlimited affinity.
     
  13. nrfbtoystore

    nrfbtoystore Chieftain

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    First, a follow up of previous thoughts. I agree mages are abit weak but I still find myself using them for a few nifty buffs. I would like to see a 'combat' buff go with every spell learned, I think this would help make mages more reliable. Example... Fire spells you get Blaze, Fireball, Summon Fire Elemental at ranks 1-3 respectively. Along with the spells how about we have progressive bonuses? 1 - 25% resist fire, 2 - +1 Fire Damage, 3 - 25% Defensive Strike (Fire Shield) ...

    Those bonuses could be pretty standard with all elemental type mana, and would be fun to combine. I want a fire lich!!! With the rank 2 fire/death promotions, plus the lich bonuses, you'd have a nice little unit there! ... Also have these bonuses transfer over to summons maybe?

    Now my main idea... MANA TOWER! Something you can create to gain another mana node. To limit this, I think cost should be severe. It would be availible after sorcery...and would give you a mana node of your choice, but would give the town -90% production/gold/culture. Or possible set the requirements that that town has to have X amount of population, then when you build it, it DESTROYS the town and makes a mana node...then you have to come claim with a new town.

    That would be a nice add on med-late game that need a new spell but all the current nodes are overly fortified.
     
  14. scutarii

    scutarii Chieftain

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    scions are total powerhouse in orbis thanx to: haunted lands mechanic and opponents need lots of amount of food (3) for growing, it leaves less resources for military.

    OK, mercurians have a chance to beat Scions ( because of their various "holy" bonuses) and golems are immune to haunted lands.

    Scions shouldn't get various morale( from command post), holy bonuses( AoL, order religion), courage, hope and all that living related buff.

    to reduce:hammers: and :commerce: bonuses from haunted lands by 1? compensates 3 food demand for other civs....
     
  15. Hansebenger

    Hansebenger KingKäs

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    Ahwaric, what do u think about nerfing assasins ?
    They are designed to take out the weak units, but instead they are better than their counter, the champions (they have 1 more attack strength with poisoned blade)
    Additionally they are immune to defensive strikes, I wonder how Wauthans Crossbowmen could take them out
     
  16. Wauthan

    Wauthan Inaniloquent Nihiliarian

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    :blush:

    Ahem... Right you are. Seems I forgot I wasn't running an unmodified version of Orbis. I've been trying out modding myself for a while now and that change slipped my mind for some reason. Sort of makes the assassins in regular Orbis even more powerful then I thought.

    Good catch Hansebenger. Carry on. :D

    On a side note I've tried out decreasing Assassin strength to 4. I guess I have to agree with Sputnik323. Nerfing the unit makes it pretty boring in the late game. Then again that actually gives you a reason to research Precision.

    Perhaps the easiest solution would be to limit the number of Assassins you can build?
     
  17. zup

    zup Chieftain

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    It's not like I would run out of assassins. I use a few insanely promoted ones rather than masses of wet-behind-the-ears's...

    It would only nerf Calabim who excel at having many insanely promoted units and Svartalfar who should have a bunch of nicely promoted hunters to upgrade. Maybe Sidar, but they generally wane lots of units.
     
  18. Opera

    Opera Chieftain

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    I like this. I did this for one of the Shur promotions line and I think it's worth it. However, maybe we should limit how many different mana a single adept/mage can master. So that they would only be able to choose Fire, then Ice, then Shadow but after that, nothing but those three. That'd specialize them more and allow us to put even more power in the spells, as they would require much planning.

    For the assassins: I'm going to add a Vigilant line to the Recon units of the Ngomele. This line will require KotE and gain good bonus towards other Recon units. Perhaps something like this could be added to any civ but instead of whole Recon bonus, an Assassin bonus?
     
  19. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    I like that too, actually, but if you limit the spells I'd say limit OPPOSING spheres. As in, you can learn Fire OR Water, not both. Seems the best way to limit it in my mind, rather than an arbitrary number.
     
  20. Opera

    Opera Chieftain

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    Yeah, you're right. But still, it may be too much to have the choice between 12 spheres... Not what I'd want to do. Maybe the exclusion of other mana should be deeper than just the main opposite one.

    (Plus, your idea would be much more easy to do I think)
     

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