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I think vampires are overpowered

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by WarKirby, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    I've played quite a few games with the calabim, and I'm finding them to be too powerful on the whole.

    The reason for this is solely at the feet of their main UU, the Vampire. As in, the champion replacement.

    For anyone not familiar, a quick summary of what they can do.

    -Feed on cities. This reduces the population by 1, and gives (citysize - 3) xo to the vampire. Feeding on large cities allows them to leap to level 4 or 5 almost instantly.

    -Feed on bloodpets to restore health. Actually, I think this ability sucks, and should be expanded to include any living, non vampirism, unit that you own.

    -They have channeling II, and start with Death I and Body I.


    Their downsides, are pretty minimal as far as I can see.
    -They have 5 strength, whereas the unit they replace (champion) has 6. I believe their magic, and on average far higher experience, FAR more than makes up for this penalty though.

    -They cost 50% more than a champion to build. I don't think this is an issue, because the average calabim city is significantly more capable in terms of production than most races, due to the Governors Mansions. They can have a city with no hills, mines, lumbermills, workshops, or engineer specialists, purely concentrating on food, and still have a decent production output because of the mansion. Thusly they can build vampires everywhere.


    The advantages of calabim are numerous. Personally, there's oe change I'd like to see.
    Most of the vampire's abilities fit well with lore, and give nice flavor. But the one I don't get, is the death magic. Most traditional vampire lores have them as faster, stronger, and healing better than humans, so the Body Magic certainly fits. But how does death magic fit in? Since when are all vampires also necromancers ?

    The death magic creates a severe problem, IMO. Even if you don't build the tower of necromancy. Skeletons, although quite weak, are a permanant summon. The amount of them you can have is equal to the amount of casters in yojur empire capable of summoning them.

    With most races, that's not an issue, because you have to strike some balance. You need soldiers as well as mages, and you need to give your mages death magic. But with calabim, they can create an entire army of vampires, who are capable of instantly summoning an equally large army of skeletons.

    If you have 20 vampires in a stack, they can summon 20 skeletons while they're 2 tiles away from a city, then next turn move in, suicide the skeletons to weaken the defenders, and instantly create another 20 as a meat shield, so the vampires can then attack the weakened defenders with no fear of retribution. A skeleton may not be able to win most fights, but 99% of the units in the game are only capable of attacking once per turn. So every skeleton they kill is a vampire they're not killing. And that vampire can immediately replace the skeleton AND attack the now weakened unit that killed the last one.

    To put it bluntly, vampires are a powerful combat unit with no limit in numbers, and giving them a summon spell also is just overkill, because it essentially doubles their numbers. I'd have no problem with vampire lords retaining death magic, since you don't get many of those, but normal vampires having it is a bit much.

    I simply propose that Death I be removed from normal vampires, so that body is the only magic sphere they can use.

    A champion that can use body magic, and level up indefinitely without fighting, is still an extremely powerful unit.
     
  2. mimic

    mimic Magic Box

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    Hm I'd suggest making them much stronger but far less numerous, give them a national limit or something (but then what about champions...?)

    Actually I think their fine as they are.
     
  3. Ashdrake

    Ashdrake Chieftain

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    Skeletons arent that good, just get a few death nodes up and your vamps will have death2 so you can summon the specters, much more useful and stronger.

    also if i recall correctly, vamps can not have death 1 at all when they get build, they can still take it (since they have channeling) when they level up, OR they get it automatically for free when you have some more death nodes.
     
  4. hiphopin

    hiphopin Warlord

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    Plain and simple, kill Calabim early.

    Their strength (a LOT of strength) is almost entirely on vampires, however, vampires take time to grow really strong, and don't forget the cities have to grow in order for them to get decent xp.

    While they may be tough to defeat, most other civs can amass a much larger force faster. While the calabim are stuck slowly making their vamps stronger. Their vampires when lower levels by the way, aren't a tough fight. Each civ has its strengths and weaknesses, use your strength to fight the calabims.

    So in my opinion, skeletons are fine for them, because take away their vampires, and calabim lose almost all of their power, death just makes it that much stronger.
     
  5. odalrick

    odalrick Emperor

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    You do not recall correctly. Vampires start with Death I and Body I, and do not get any promotions for free from extra mana.
     
  6. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    The calabim get the breeding pit, which essentially acts like a third granary/smokehouse. Allowing them to store 60% of the food after a growth, and in addition, it also provides 2 extra food to the city.

    I don't see how their strength is entirely dependant on vampires. They have acess to the same early units as other races, warriors, hunters, archers, axemen, etc. And their axemen are actually STRONGER than most, because they can cast burning blood on themselves, making them a devastatingly effective suicide unit.

    Feudalism as a tech, isn't that far in. And once you've got that, a vampire can feast once on a size 20 city, and he goes up to level 5 instantly, which will allow him to destroy most other comparable units pretty easily. Combat IV more than makes up for the 1 less strength point you get.

    A size 20 city isn't hard for them to get at all, in addition to the breeding pit, running agrarianism creates a ****load of food. Sure you'll have massive unhappiness problems, but that will only slow the growth a bit. If you can get a city near a few floodplain farms, you're gold. And those aren't rare in every map I've played.

    Such a city becomes industrially capable with a governor's manor, which essentially gives 1 :hammers: per population.

    Yes, skeletons aren't strong. But they don't have to be. All they have to do is act as a meat shield, preventing an injured vampire from being attacked until you can get marksmen.

    a hotseat game I'm playing with my cousin now, he uses vampires as city defenders. Merely by existing, they increase the possible skeleton count of his empire, like sone kind of strange skeleton support battery, allowing his smaller number of well fed vampires, to summon vast armies of skeletons.

    oh, and also, if a low level vampire gets caught exposed, they can just cast haste and run away. If you move first then cast, you can get 2 flat movement through hills and forests, allowing you to outrun anything less than a horseman easily. And a vampire on a hill will shred a horseman/horse archer in any case, even entirely unpromoted.
     
  7. DioBrando

    DioBrando Warlord

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    Powerful? Yes
    Overpowered? No
     
  8. Iceciro

    Iceciro Special Ability: Decimate

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    You want to see hordes of skeletons?

    Give Govannon Death I. That's insane compared to what the Cabalim do. You're just lucky the Vampires don't start with something even more fitting - Mind, for Charm Person and Dominate.
     
  9. cyther

    cyther Lord of the Dance

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    The Calabim are a very good civ, in fact they are one of the best put together civs and are unstoppable After they get vampires and hold them for a while. The Calabim are very powerful but they are a late game civ. In the early game they suffer from a lack of Elder Councils and in late game they can't use Gunpowder or Alchemy labs.
     
  10. Iceciro

    Iceciro Special Ability: Decimate

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    The Cabalim just feel "Complete" to me - they just seem to have a mechanic and units that all tie together really well.

    This means that they're very strong in thier apex, just like the Clan of Embers is strong in the early game. Difference is when they're strong - the Cabalim are strong in the end game, which - well, doesn't get teched out of.

    Seems to work as intended to me.
     
  11. Dora190

    Dora190 Warlord

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    Calabim are fine to play, more so than some civs, but the AI rarely builds vampires and even then doesn't use them properly.

    Feeding on cities is great but the down side is that it tends to slow things down a bit.

    The skeletons are fun, until you runa cross a mage with destroy undead, which BTW the AI does know how to use. In all the games I've played I've only ever seen the Calabim do well once, less often than the amurites, lanun and Khazad in fact. I nearly fell off my seat when I saw them.

    If you looking at overpowered civs, the two most common empire builders, big empire builders, are Rhoanna and Balseraph guy, I really hate him.
     
  12. KingOfLands

    KingOfLands Warlord

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    The Clan is fairly strong midgame as well. Once they've got the infrastructure in place to leverage Warrens and the tech to build something reasonably powerful the stream of units is just about endless.
     
  13. Iceciro

    Iceciro Special Ability: Decimate

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    The Balseraph AI is really good at spamming Freaks and upgrading the good ones. I had some freaking Paladin (I think - I remember Perpentach had gone ORDER 0_o) come at me with Blitz, Combat 1-5, Heroic Attack, Strong, Heavy, Cannibal.
     
  14. Demus

    Demus King

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    that's odd tbh, i usually see the calabim (expecially flauros) do quite well ingame. At least they used to be in the earlier versions of the game, where their tech path allowed them to build up a decent economy early game, beelining education -> trade, using horsemen as military.
    Still, like many others have pointed out, the calabim only get powerful midgame. They can't stand up to a tasunke, doviello or grigori rush (no big surprise there).

    Every civ has a game stage where it shines, and during which it needs to gain the leverage required to win the game.
     
  15. zup

    zup Emperor

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    Calabim only get stronger as the game progresses. Or you are doing something wrong. The point is, the number of vampires who make the enemy wet their pants should steadily be growing. The only thing you have to worry about is getting enough cities to build vampires and feast on. True, vampires are about 17% weaker than champions with equal promotions but that's reduced to 10% by mithril weapons. Or you could get your hands on Sheut stones to help (I summon Hyborem solely because I want Sheut stones and nightmares). However the best thing about vampires is that you do not have to balance specialist troops but can mass generalist troops. Not the 'jack of all trades but a master of none' type, 'the master of all trades' type.

    And they wonder why I love Calabim.
     
  16. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    How well the AI does with them is hardly an indicator of how good a civ is, though. It's handicapped in a lot of ways due to being stupid :(
     
  17. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    Flauros' Fin/Org combination is also a strong one. I've seen sucessful Flauros AI in 0.40. AI Alexis is usually less effective.
     
  18. MaxAstro

    MaxAstro Spiral Knight

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    The Calabim are of course overpowered. Just like Keelyn, Govannon, Pyre Zombies, the Lanun on water maps, and nearly everything else. That's because FfH's design theme is "if everything is overpowered, nothing is".

    The Calabim, especially under Flauros who with Financial can run Aristocracy/Agrarianism for some truly scary farms, and nearly unstoppable once they get going. However, they are also quite stoppable early game. Moroi are good, but at best a strong suicide unit like the Pyre Zombie. Combine that with a lack of Elder Councils seriously hurting their early game research (no sages or great sages until writing) and they can be quite vulnerable to an early rush.

    Also consider that Feudalism and Fanaticism (their hero tech) aren't even on the same tech tree, and also that they don't get Iron Weapons at the same time as vampires, where most civs get them at the same time as champions.

    So... overpowered? Probably. But still quite balanced in comparison to everything else (and TAME compared to Keelyn's Archmages or a Sheaim Eater of Dreams that manages to take an enemy city at around 10+ pop).
     
  19. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    "All civs are overpowered, but some civs are more overpowered than others" :lol:

    Calabim are very good. not sure if they are overpowered though. personally, I'd like vampires to be stronger but fewer in numbers.
     
  20. sylvanllewelyn

    sylvanllewelyn Perma-newb

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    The vampires are indeed powerful, but your livestock can only be consumed on a sustainable basis. If you overharvest, the adult humans might run amok and ruin your economy. Hence, you are almost always fighting at a numerical disadvantage, and possibly at a technological disadvantage too, especially if your enemy has a larger empire than you by the time you engage. If you want to attack, remember that your catapults do not benefit from haste either, so you still have to slog them 1 tile at a time while your enemy can start harassing you with all sorts of tricks, both on a tactical and a strategic level.

    I always imagined that vampiric feasting is basically sucking nutrients off the blood of the animal, and at the same time sending the souls to hell in exchange for power. You could always adopt The Order, cast Unyielding Order over a couple of massive farm cities and send as many souls to hell as you can. Don't worry about the livestock getting unruly - Junil will lend his powers to leaders following his faith in instilling absolute obedience over their citizens and livestock.
     

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