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Fall Further 0.51 Balance Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Fall Further' started by WarKirby, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. rocklikeafool

    rocklikeafool Warmaster

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    I'm curious. Was the archer fortified in a city or fort? Or was it just walking around?

    Either way, it still supports both our arguments that this unit is too weak.
     
  2. Iceciro

    Iceciro Special Ability: Decimate

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    Dislike the promotional debuffs of the Doomsayers ever since they were introduced. Generally dislike every debuff the Scions get as they're one of my top 3 favorite races, so I can't tell if it's just "gah, brought into some form of balance" or "gah, nerfed too hard".
     
  3. Randomness

    Randomness ...

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    I'm perosonally finding that the barbs AI has been brought up more than the player AI. Stacks of barb archers pillage contryside, run from all threats, and wait for the player to put out another woker to start the cycle again. I manage to deal with it, but I find that the AI players (though still doing fairly well) are constently trying to fight off the orc invasions. Still, I don't think this is so much a problem as a good thing... I'm playing on normal speed, large, at prince... Has anyone else seen this?
     
  4. not-prime

    not-prime Chieftain

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    Maybe I missed it, but is there a reason why the Jotnar are blocked from getting Machinery? Would it really be crazily overpowered for them?
     
  5. Tarquelne

    Tarquelne Follower of Tytalus

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    WarKirby:
    I don't see how that's a Legate-specific complaint. That seems like "I want high-level Disciples to be able to take on Champions and Archers."

    Ah, "pitiful" means "-2 attack outside your borders." I was wondering. It's to make it significantly harder to harvest Reborn in offensive wars. You can still do it, but you have to use a trick. For example: Front-line fighters fight on the front line. Or use damaging spells to weaken defenders. Or set up the Doomsayers as defenders.

    The priests can mop up and make converts.

    You can't get by on armies composed of pretty much nothing but Doomgivers/sayers, but that's a lot of the reason for the nerf.

    Lore-wise, them being weaker might make a lot of sense.

    But I'd like more powerful Doomgiver/sayer spells, or just beefing-up Weird Wrack. I'm not aware of any balance problem, but it's supposed to be a relatively subtle effect and it might be too subtle.
    And other priests can't add to the population of an often population-poor civ.
    (Plus they have culture drain/infect abilities. Those are something that could use more player feedback.)

    It's not a hidden promotion, btw. They have a +2/+2 promotion within Scion territory.

    But it isn't too weak to win. It's just too weak to take the place of other front-line troops.

    Don't attack normal archers. Attack vulnerable archers.

    RLAF:
    Compared to other Priest units they're -2/-1 outside borders, +0/+1 inside.

    I'm not going to claim that they definitely shouldn't get some or all strength back. However, the nerf was put in for a reason, and that there's no singularity involved: They can still attack, they can still capture.

    Assuming that the unit should have better odds against an Archer, yes it does.

    It's supposed to represent improbably bad luck. Any suggestions beyond making the modifiers bigger? Preferably something without python, and more interesting than a strength penalty.

    If you're looking for a lore-based reason its to do with the strong connection between Scion power and Scion territory.

    Where does "awe factor" come from?

    Iceiroooo!:
    I don't really like nerfs either, but I'd rather err on the side of under-powered than over. (Think of it as yet another way the Scions are different from other civs.) Especially with regard to supplementary population-gaining methods. The struggle to gain population is supposed to be much of what makes playing the Scions challenging. Doomsayers with good offensive capability severely undermined that.

    I can be persuaded to un-nerf the Priests, or at least buff the spells. But I want a good reason to. They were nerfed for a reason. (In other words, this is all Valk's fault!)

    (So far as feedback goes, I'll mention that hyperbole such as "can't kill anything" is something I find profoundly unpersuasive.)
     
  6. Iceciro

    Iceciro Special Ability: Decimate

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    I understand that they can't make armies on their own and that's probably a good thing, but maybe the -2 is a bit too much, at least offensively. Maybe make them cost more hammers and be a little weaker, but in a world where two points is the difference between an entire techline, it basically means you're better off suiciding legates at improbably low odds to get reborn in any war not in your borders, because they're cheaper and have THE SAME ODDS. That's a problem to me. A big one.

    Better solution than nerfing Doomsayers? Nerf Doomsayer HORDES. Make them a 4-6-8 (unsure of good number, maybe base on map size?) limited unit. Then you can't compose a stack of doom with them, but they can be strong unique units you want to protect and nurture rather than spam in the hopes of getting Reborn.
     
  7. Tarquelne

    Tarquelne Follower of Tytalus

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    A nice thing about the border-based strength adjustment is that it does fit with other Scion effects, it's a lot more flavorful than just making a unit more expensive. So I wouldn't want to abandon it completely. But nerfing the nerf and and adding an increased costs sounds pretty good, or making them a nat. unit.

    That's a good point about just using Legates, with a couple of significant qualifiers: Doomsayers are much more powerful within your own borders, and they do have other abilities. Such as being eligible to purchase Command, for example, which significantly increases the odds of getting a Reborn from combat.

    The only problem I see with them being national units is that the national unit limit seems rather arbitrary. (Not that I haven't used it before...) OTOH it'd address the "horde" concern even more certainly than increased cost and could be used as an excuse to make the units even more powerful. (!) (Though I'll mention again that under the current system they've got a higher combat strength than other priests. As far as nerfs go, the strength adjustment is hardly one-sided - In a defensive war they're more powerful with the "nerf".)
     
  8. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    If the point of the strength penalty is to make it harder to harvest reborn in offensive, wars, then why not fix that at the source. Reduce the success rate of conversion if you're outside the borders, and let doomsayers have the same strength as other priests.


    You mean the extra defense strength?
    Extra defence doesn't help much on something that isn't a frontline unit. Generally, you'll have archers or bands with an offensive army, doomsayers aren't too likely to defnd the stack.

    And even then, they only have the extra strength inside your borders. outside, they're weaker than other prists in defence as well as attack.

    Also, Confessor + Bless. 6 all around strength (except against angels, but how often does that happen?) , and no border specific penalties either. Order has the strongest prists in direct strength, Doomsayers really can't match that.
     
  9. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    Now, a completely different concern I'm having.

    Great Commanders.
    Specifically, the way they level up.

    Currently, commanders get some % of the xp that their minions get in combat. This means that the more xp your minions get, the more your commander gets. This could easily lead to rather exploit-ish behaviour of suiciding millions of low level fodder at impossible odds, because they're bound to get a ton of xp when one eventually wins.

    This eventuality was predicted though, and avoided. The percentage of xp that the commander gets is scaled based on the difference between his level, and the minion. Which prevents the above tactic.

    But I feel that this scaling measure is a bit too heavy handed. Specifically, in the other direction. It's all too easy for units to massively outlevel their commander, and then the commander effectively stops getting xp (0.1 per battle is essentially nothing) because of the massive, and ever growing difference in their levels.

    This problem exists, even from the start. Commanders start off at lv1 with 0 xp. But units that you build will usually have some extra free xp if you're serious, by running apprenticeship/conquest and building command posts. This makes units outlevel the commander as soon as they're built, and thusly makes levelling the commander very difficult

    Right now, I'm finding that the most effective tactic is deliberately limiting myself, ignoring the fact that a unit can promote, and only matching them with the commander's level so that he gets optimal xp from it. This is pretty silly, micromanagement intensive, and counterproductive. I don't think it should be rewarded, but as is, it's very difficult to level commanders (unless you're bannor, 50 xp in one turn, yay)

    My thoughts on what to do here.

    1. Start commanders off at some basic level of xp. I'd say give them 10xp to start, lv4. This would allow specialising and choosing some promotions right off, and also allow the commander to keep up with newly built troops getting free xp.

    2. Remove or significantly relax, the xp scaling for minions that are levels above the commander. Since superpowered units don't get much xp from battles anyways, due to 99% odds, I don't think there's any need to restrict the xp a commander gets from your best units that are 10 levels above him.



    If you want to think about it from an immersion POV, it's understandable that he wouldn't benefit much from low level units. How can a commander develop and grow, when he's placed in charge of incompetent fools?

    But on the other hand, being placed in command of hardened veterans, he could learn from them
     
  10. rocklikeafool

    rocklikeafool Warmaster

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    I would suggest that maybe we make it a -1 nerf. That I could live with, seeing as they do allow for Reborn. Also, I would ask that either a new, stronger spell on the level of the other teirII Priests. OR (and I'd prefer this option myself) make Weird Wrack a stronger spell. I'd suggest it be slightly weaker that other teirII divine spells, say 10% to 15% (possible a MAX of 20%) weaker simply cuz this would allow for more balance and force the player to be more creative with the use of it. It would also keep the unit from being overpowered, as it already does one significant thing by allowing Reborn to be taken.

    I personally would be against limiting the hordes. To me, this seems like a cheap way out. Basically, it would do this. (Go on a lil logic jaunt with me please.) We would have unnerfed Doomsayers/Doombringers. Then we limit the size of the armies that could accompany them. Let's assume that most players will bring along a Doomsayer(s)/Doombringer(s) for every army they send out; cuz most of them will, especially those players familiar with how useful teirII and teirIII Priest units can be. Ok, this done two things. The 1st, obviously, unnerfs the Doomsayers/Doombringers. (I know, it's a "Duh!" moment. Bear with me.)
    The 2nd will reduce the overall cost of the Scion armies, at least potentially. (Meaning we're assuming that most players would send out less units cuz the size of the armies are limited to how many units can accompany their Priest units.) We all know that the promotion "Heavy Formation" costs -1 gold per turn in support costs. So, if the size of the armies is smaller, the support cost would be lower.
    Your 1st thought is prolly "THAT'S GREAT!" My 1st thought is "Wait, wait a sec, this tips the balance too much." (Read my sig, that comment makes perfect sense in context of my sig.) The reason that -1 gold per turn in support costs is there is prolly something along the lines of reflecting that there really aren't a ton of Scions around to support overly Huge armies. I mean Scions don't have sex, have kids, and gain citizens in the normal way. So, obviously, their average city size is smaller than most civs. (The only civ with an average city size on the same level is the Legion of D'Tesh, another undead civ, albeit a more violent one, that's featured in Orbus and was originally an addon civ for original FfH back in .30 days.) Therefore, lorewise and logicwise, I think the "Heavy Formation" promotion on many of the Scions melee line already does a good job of keeping the Scion army size from being overly Huge armies, while allowing the player to spam units like Centeni or Horsemen for fodder.
    So, please, leave that part alone. I maintain the army size doesn't need to be limited to a number X just so we can have a stronger teirII and teirIII Priest unit. No thanks, I like it how it is; it works imho. ("If it ain't broke, don't fix it.")
    Also, power for the sake of power is nice. Except in this case, it takes power from melee units (who, let's be honest, are mainly powerful cuz of their numbers ["Spam warriors" & "The more bashers you have the better"]) and gives more power to the the Priest units (who, again let's be honest, it's not useful, not worth the hammers in the case of Doomsayers, or not possible, in the case of Doomgivers, to have tons of). I don't see how that helps, to take one useful thing from one unit to offset that another unit is buffed.
     
  11. Tarquelne

    Tarquelne Follower of Tytalus

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    Strength adjustment is easier to make, easier to see, more concrete, struck me as more interesting, still allows for a lot of capture outside borders IF - it's an important "if" - you really work at it.

    "Generally," sure. But depends on how you compose your stack. Or what you're attacker has - While a bonus vs. Disciple units is possible, Shock is a lot more common. A few levels will eat up an Honored Bands defensive advantage.

    And you might have to take a risk.

    You're right, they can't match that. So? Why *should* Doomsayers be any stronger? You've established that they are weaker. But we knew that. You've established that you want them stronger. But I'm willing to just take your word for that. But why should they be stronger? What's the need that fulfills or problem that solves? (Note that I don't buy "can't attack" or (paraphrasing) "can't function as front line hero." as either.)
     
  12. rocklikeafool

    rocklikeafool Warmaster

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    Come to think of it, I also noticed this. My GC wasn't lvling and I wondered why. Though, tbh, I didn't care a whole lot cuz I was more worried about other issues, specifically bugs that were causing CTDs and issues like getting used to FF versus FfH or Orbus. It's not that different, but some of the custom game options I hadn't used before from FfH and combined with the getting used civs like the Scions, I had enough on my plate, what with the CTDs hitting me as well. But now that you bring it up...hmm...
     
  13. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    Can't function as a front line hero at level 26

    That's the problem.
    I don't expect a unit to be slaughtering empires all by itself, but when it's bought almost every promotion there is, you should expect near certain victory against an entrenched unit that's only lv2, especially one of a lower tier!

    This doomsayer I have, literally cannot get any stronger, and he's no more than barely competent on the front line. level 26 was not easy to reach. I basically fed him the entire calabim empire while he was still a legate. There's a significant opportunity cost in delaying expansion for 30 tusn so one unit can kill the enemy piece by piece. It takes a lot of nurturing and work

    i could do better with a mage at this level, fighting hand to hand with the enemy. Not even a superpowered scion Necromancer, but just any generic Mage unit,. simply because of the 1 extra strength. When it's magnified by so many promotions, every single strength point makes a vast difference.

    3 attack strength is pitiful for a tier III unit. Even normal priests are still significantly outmatched by champions and longbows. It takes work and careful management to level up any disciple unit. But With 3 strength, it's just silly.
     
  14. rocklikeafool

    rocklikeafool Warmaster

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the goal of this is something along the lines of forcing the player to use their Doomsayers/Doombringers in creative and skillful ways. Make them think how to use this unit without it dying and how to use it as often as possible to increase the chances of getting a Reborn. So, basically, make it a big deal to get Reborn by using Doomsayers/Doombringers.

    Honestly, I can respect that; that takes guts to do. Though I would still maintain a -1 nerf as opposed to a -2 nerf. It still would satisfy the concept that getting a Reborn via Scion Priest units is a big deal, while making it less underpowered combatwise. Of course, a -1 nerf would still be enough that the units would feel underpowered combatwise, and would force the player to be creative and skillful in their use of the units.
     
  15. rocklikeafool

    rocklikeafool Warmaster

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    I have a feeling that while this is a fun concept, it's not something you'd normally do. Try doing the same thing with a Zealot, for example. Use WB, while playing as Scions, to place a Zealot. Then, get it up to lvl 6 and upgrade it to all the way to a Speaker. I think you'll find it can't be a homegrown hero either. Yeah, sure, it has Tsunami (one of the reasons I love Cultists), but it can't live up to the level of the actual heroes, such Hemah or Giovanni. (I picked those 2 cuz they're casters, albeit of different types.) It's a fun idea, but, as you can see, it doesn't work. Sorry, man.
     
  16. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    It certainly can, I've done it. In fact, I often do it.

    I've conquered whole empires with one, JUST ONE cultist. Walk along the coast, tsunami everything to death, and finish them off directly. After a while you stop even needing the tsunami because he becomes so strong

    Speakers are Strength 8, I believe.By the endgame, not a massive amount. but with Combat V, shock/cover/formation/city raider, it's still enough to directly assault cities guarded by T4 units. Particularly if you hit them with a tidal wave first :)

    The ability to summon krakens is also especially useful. I mostly used my kraken for defence against enemy ships. It eats Man o Wars for breakfast. And so did the speaker himself, actually. Not only could he annihilate armies, but navies too.

    A decent strength unit with Drill IV is extremely hard for anything to take down. First strikes allow you to win battles with relatively little damage sustained. And if the enemy is already damaged from your tsunami, they have little hope.

    I'd say OO priests are undoubtedly the overall strongest, mainly because of the massive range tsunami spell, and the Water Walking, which essentially makes you untouchable except to ships (which you already threw a tsunami at)


    But anyways, off topic here.
    I'm not saying doomsayers should be world destroying heroes. Ijust think they should justify their place in the tech tree, and not feel like a disappointment because your favourite unit can't get any stronger.

    Also related, the Doomgiver spell is rather pointless. Archon's rule. It's similar in concept to Unyielding Order, but nowhere near as powerful. It just gives small bonuses to culture, military production, and decent war weariness reduction. It also gives -50% foreign trade income.

    Even with unyielding order, I've always felt that planting a high priest permanantly in a city is a complete waste. given that they require lv6, you're taking a good combat unit out of commission for domestic duty. I only ever used that for calming newly taken cities while on the march. I don't think it's worth the sacrifice of a limited T4 unit for something as good as UO in most situations. And archon's rule is just too minor to care about in this regard. Even without the trade penalty, it's bonuses aren't worth the opportunity cost of researching theology (bloody expensive tech) levelling a priest past lv6, and then removing him from your army to maintain it in a city.

    Also, the doomgiver is in more or less the same position as the doomsayer. Relatively low strength when outside your borders. 6/7 He's not actually very good at giving doom at all.

    I think the scion priest line is in need of work, in general. With a name like he has, I'd expect the Doomgiver to have a more directly offensive spell. Like the neat stuff that necromancers have.
     
  17. rocklikeafool

    rocklikeafool Warmaster

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    Doesn't fit lorewise? Just a guess.
     
  18. Tarquelne

    Tarquelne Follower of Tytalus

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    Place in tech tree: Reborn creation (!), culture infection, spells (which I'm fine with adding to and/or boosting.), basic healing.

    Disappointment: I'm sure you'll get over it, and anyone not assuming they'll be like other Priests (or checking the 'pedia beforehand) can avoid it. (And note, btw, that "can't get any stronger" wouldn't be changed by +2 attack.)

    Another thing I'm not particularly opposed to boosting. The culture bonus is supposed to be the main thing. I was afraid that +14/+10% would be too much, but maybe it isn't at that stage of the game.

    It's not meant as as an alternative to combat duties - a city isn't likely to become dependent on it, for one thing - but more as a continuation. Cultural warfare.

    Sure, there's the strength penalty. But don't forget he's got Marksman and reduces the population of cities he attacks by 1.

    He's more about oppression...
     
  19. rocklikeafool

    rocklikeafool Warmaster

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    You've got to be the only person I know who so severely twists and abuses the intent of the OO Priest units.

    I think, looking at the pedia and such, Necromancers are sposed to be the powerful mage types. If, however, the Doombringers had lots of Necromancy type spells (not the same spells as Necromancers, but similiar), I think they'd resemble Necromancers too much.

    It'd be like how some games (not FfH or FF thankfully) have spells like lightning ball and fireball. Both do the same damage. They require different prereqs, let's say, the 1st requires lightning focus and the 2nd requires fire focus. Different spells with different prereqs and different graphics when cast, but do same thing. Kinda uncreative.

    I think the Scion Priest line needs work too though.
     
  20. Iceciro

    Iceciro Special Ability: Decimate

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    Could maybe we work the scion priests in as commander units? Maybe even with a percentage chance to convert trickle-downing into the units they command?

    I guess I should say, is the issue that the preists themselves were becoming too much of a "build this in stacks = good" unit, or that the snagging reborn effect was too much?
    As it stands, one of the main things you get with an entire leader are Scion preists vs. a regular religion's priests. You should really get something neat for that. I always felt the Doomsayers and Doomgivers were the linchpin of a good reason to go Risen Emperor and give up, say, founding Order/OO. Then they got nerfed and they don't feel nearly as cool - First their damage got nerfed, then their conversion to reborn rate got a small nerf when hunting weak targets through the python conversion change. Now they aren't very strong, have unimpressive spells, and have a pretty low functional-without-doing-backflips-to-get-it Reborn rate conversion.

    I'm considering swapping to a hammerspam strategy with Korinna and RoK/Arete instead. I like the emperor's flavor and fluff but he has zero mechanical advantage with the nerfs to his religious units.

    EDIT: I consider the Emperor to be more of the "I bring da facesmashy" type compared to Korinna. Agresssive is nice but as far as a long drawn out warmachine I prefer Cha. Cha/Arc screams "I bring da mages and they be da facesmashy" on top of that. Org is a purely infrastructure bonus, and tends to encourage bigger empires. I always thought the Legate line was a pretty good example of this - they go out, smash faces, and bring them back home to be fixed up.
     

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