Jotnar: Balance Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Fall Further' started by WarKirby, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. Sarisin

    Sarisin Deity

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    OK, I'm trying my first game as Jotnar/Mother with patch n. Honestly, I have the same reaction as the first time I played the Scions: wow, what a hoot!:goodjob:

    I didn't try them before they made it into FF and actually this is my second game as my first was, well, a learning experience as I did very badly. I didn't get how the Jotnar worked at all. However, after reading through this thread for some very good tips and starting my second game, I am having great fun playing this new civ.

    One observation that might be a balance issue, maybe a bug:

    The AI barbs just don't know how to deal with the Wall of the Covenant. I love this Wonder and beelined it thinking this would force all the barbs on the other civs. It isn't working that way, though.

    I am finding that instead of attacking other civs, I have 6 or more packs of barbs just hanging around my borders protected by the wall. Yes, if I send a unit out, they rapidly respond. However, they are just patrolling outside the walls and not really what one might expect of raging savages. I think they don't know what to make of the wall.

    Anyway, I managed to get a small army of Hill Giants and Troll Hunters outside into the world and they are taking down civs one after another. If you get rolling with the Jotnar Juggernaut early there is no stopping them with AI Warriors, Scouts, Hunters, Axemen even though they have numbers. The Wall gives you the freedom to not worry so much about defenders at home and focus on your offensive game.

    My first game I couldn't get Citizens to save my life, but this game they are coming at a good pace.

    I really have no other complaints about this civ and kudos to the designer. I am hoping my next game to sit back and let it go so I can build some of the higher level Jotnar units.

    Oh, one question: does the Jotnar have a World Spell?

    Thanks again for putting these big guys in the game. :)
     
  2. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    This is an easily fixable issue.
    They just need all useless things added to the list of stuff they Cannot Build.

    But what's useless about Hunter's Halls? Wild Trolls and Troll Hunters are recon units. They should be able to gain passive xp from them like any other civ.
     
  3. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    Not really, IIRC they get a special event at AC 30 but that's it.
     
  4. Mylon

    Mylon Amateur Game Designer

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    Yeah, the Jotnar really are uber.

    They're slow to start because they're pretty much defenseless (unless you count delaying with lots of chaff) until they get hill giants. At that point they tend to dominate. Their low city maintenance allows them to spam cities all over and the market + elder council assists this. Once they get champions though, all bets are off and it just seems like a cake walk. Base strength 9 units (compared to Champion's 6), which ends up being 11 strength with iron, or 12 strength if they're over 50 turns old. And they are their own bombard units too. Later on, guild spam + the civic that gives +1 free specialist further increase the power of their ICS tactic.

    I'm tempted to try ICS with another civilization and see if it's just as uber. I won't get the benefit of the hall of the ancients or the staedding, but market + elder council + guilds + 1 free specialist per city = tons of freebies per city, before trying to account to see if working vs the maintenance.
     
  5. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    ICS ?

    what is this ?
     
  6. Andvare

    Andvare King

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    Infinite City Spam(/Sprawl)

    Old infamous CivII strategy (I believe it's from CivII? Could be earlier).
     
  7. Haerzog

    Haerzog Warlord

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    Still doesn't explain what it is. Is that where you try to fit in as many cities into an area as you can?
     
  8. Anondod

    Anondod Chieftain

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    That reminds me of the viking Gånge-Rolf (also known as Rollo), "Rolf Walker", named so because he was said to be so big that no horse could carry him. He's the one who got the French to give up Normandy ("Land of the Northmen").

    Anyway, I've been playing the Jotnar and I agree that they seem very strong once they get Hill Giants. I got into an early war with the dark elves (can't remember the FfH name for them) and wiped them out with about five giants plus the Founder. They only had warriors, but more cities and nearly all of their area was forest. I lost maybe two giants in the whole war and must have killed upwards 100 warriors, many of them fortified in cities or standing on wooded hills across a river where I still had 99% chance of winning when attacking.

    Of course it helps that the AI tends to make suicidal attacks against heavily fortified cities. Three warriors charging a city with a Hill Giant and several thrall militia was not unusual, or a badly damaged unit attacking a nearly undamaged Hill Giant.

    I think the Hill Giants should be delayed with some kind of intermediary unit made available or they should start out weaker.

    BTW, does the 50 turn strength increase scale with game speed? I always play on marathon, which probably helped me if it doesn't.
     
  9. Mylon

    Mylon Amateur Game Designer

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    Basically. Because each city gets food from the farmers guild, hammers from the stonefire hammers guild, +3 wealth +1 research from the market and elder council, one free tile (the city tile), and the maintenance from the total number of cities is practically nil. Combine this with the advantages of not having to worry about the happycap, blight not being quite as devastating, and cities growing very quickly, more cities seems to be the way to go, even if it's not as efficient use of land.

    Downsides to city spam: +% buildings aren't as powerful. Particularly forges, libraries, money changers. The first can be overcome with the right wonder which (for non-Jotnar civs) can be built in a "normal" city rather than a crowded one. But more cities = more powerful guilds.
     
  10. Vermicious Knid

    Vermicious Knid King

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    As it currently stands the Jotnar are very good at the city-spam strategy described above...and hopeless at anything else. I prefer less defined strategy choices, so I continue to tinker. Oh Jotnar, I wish I could quit you. :D

    Agreed on Hill Giants being an obscene power leap. From 2/4 citizens and workers to 7/7 monsters...yikes. I throw in a 5/5 "Hearth Guard" melee unit (requires barracks, bronze-working) and require iron and a training yard for the 7/7. The only problem I've seen with that is that you tend to have that unit and the 9/9 Wielder become available at the same time...but it is easy enough to increase the prereqs for wielder.

    The other unmentioned thing here is Thrall Militia. Maintenance-free garrison units are very helpful indeed when maintaining a huge sprawling empire. My next game I'm going to try making them available only as a slave upgrade and see how that works.

    I've also been working on archery and mounted lines for them, but that is mostly because I can't stand blocked techs that aren't civ-specific (like the gift, seafaring, etc...).
     
  11. Mylon

    Mylon Amateur Game Designer

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    It's not really 7/7. Normally, by the time they're available there are plenty of age 50 units lying around to grant them strength 8, possible strength 9. And this really overpowers any axemen that might be running around at the time. The wielder (base strength 9) replaces the champion, base strength 6, which again is a huge power leap.

    I had a problem defending my cities before I got to the hill giants, but this was because there are no defensive bonuses for giants. Thralls have a base strength of 2, so if the city provides +100%, their effective strength is 5.5 (+25% fortity, +50% city, +100% city), and that's assuming walls and lots of culture. If the citizens got the strenth bonuses for age this might not be such an issue. Also, Guild of the Nine later on is very handy for replacing thralls. They're not maintenance free, but by that time each city should be pumping out plenty of cash and beakers.
     
  12. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    Wouldn't Kuriotates be better than jotnar for city spam?


    Their settlements have zero maintenance, but I'm sure you can still spread religions and guilds to them, and build temples with priests (kilmorph, yay)
     
  13. Mylon

    Mylon Amateur Game Designer

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    Another note is that the strength bonus for age and aptitude promotions seem like a double whammy. Both increase the strength of the unit over time. I say they can do without the aptitude.

    As for the Kuriotates... They're a different kettle of fish.
     
  14. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    Playing a jotnar game just now to give them a try.

    Things I'm noticing.

    1. Settlers are too expensive. 305 :gold: is a very hard amount to come by early in the game, and the fact that you#re drawing from the same gold stock you use to upgrade troops, means that you have to choose between expansion and military.

    I'm doing very well in an emperor game now, and I lay the blame for that entirely, on getting two great prophet events in the first 50 turns (and settling them both). They're the onyl reason I've managed to expand competently, and settlers still feel too expensive.

    I'd say put them back to 200, they were a drudge to save up for even in the initial version, but it's just annoying now.

    2. Troll Hunters, and hill giants, are also too expensive. The wild trolls are reasonable at 45, but 165 to upgrade them is too much. I could buy another 3 wild trolls for that price, and probably do a lot better.

    recommended prices:
    Troll Hunter: 75
    Hill Giant: 110
     
  15. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    Hmm, another point.

    Trolls get the Regeneration promotion after killing a living unit in battle. This seems a bit odd, and silly. Troll lore generally has them known for natural regeneration, and also a weakness to fire.

    I'd propose taking away the application of regeneration, and instead giving all trolls the Trollkin promotion, which would have the following effects

    • Can heal while moving
    • Heals x% faster in friendly/neutral/enemy lands (maybe a bit weaker than regen is now)
    • -50% fire resistance
     
  16. Mylon

    Mylon Amateur Game Designer

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  17. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    When I play the Jotnar, I just BUILD my settlers, and save money for troops. :p
     
  18. Vehem

    Vehem Modmod Monkey

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    To be honest so do I. There's also no easy way to reduce their gold cost without also decreasing their hammer cost. The only way to do it really is to increase the hammer-value of the Jotnar Citizens and rebalance all the other units from there.
     
  19. Vermicious Knid

    Vermicious Knid King

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    You could make the settler available only as an upgrade option for jot adult. That would leave you free to set the price wherever you want.


    Of course if you did that there would need to be a way to drum up an adult or two in an emergency (if you get trapped in the early game with no adult spawns and one city, for example). Opportunity for a world spell, perhaps? You could also give the Jotnar the option of building adults, but at a really unappealing hammer cost.
     
  20. Haerzog

    Haerzog Warlord

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    The world spell could perhaps be like a global psychic suggestion, in that it finds all the lost Jotnar who went out into the world on AC 30 and psionicly guides them to the cities, like north on a compass.
     

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