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Pyre Zombies

Discussion in 'Fall Further' started by Evalis, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. Evalis

    Evalis Prince

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    Someone suggested making a new thread to discuss this.. so here it is ^^;

    In their current form, pyre zombies seem drastically out of sync with the other units in their tier. Namely the explosion radius and lack of damage limit make stacks cause problems both early and late game. Some examples of their abuse would be to drop a stack of 10 zombies next to a city on a coast, and once there, attacks that kill these zombies will result in an explosion infliction 5%-20% damage (I'm not sure how to access python, so I might be off with this) that will destroy any defenders in that city, or other surrounding units. Taking this city and razing it becomes a simple matter of walking a healthy unit (or surviving zombie) onto the now undefended location. The unit(s) defending this city (unless fire immune) are irrelevant, as are the number of units present.

    Comparatively, a catapult would require multiple rounds of lowering defenses and ranged bombardment, affecting a maximum number (6 I think) of units in that location, to a maximum damage limit of 75%. The catapults would require non-catapult units to actually succeed in taking the city. Most importantly, the attacker requires at least one round to perform this function, unlike the zombies that explode whether they attack or defend.

    Comparing a zombie to a catapult:
    Zombie costs 60 versus 90
    Zombie has no collatoral damage limit (#of units)
    Zombie has no damage limit (up to 100% on collatoral damage)
    Zombie damage is magic-based (ignores strength, affected by resistance/immunity)
    Zombie has anywhere between 3-8 Str and recieves terrain bonuses
    Zombie has to die to cause collatoral damage


    Comparing a zombie to an axeman:
    Zombie does not have +25% bonus versus warriors
    Zombie has +1 fire damage that can be negated by resistant/immunity
    Zombie unique unit special is explosion vs other raw damage of other unique units

    I presume that part of the reason that axemen have +25 vs warriors is to combat warrior zerg in the early game, and the mass explosion of pyre zombies was deemed adequate in accomplishing that. As a collatoral damage unit however, given the level required to obtain magic resistance, it seems much too powerful for it's cost. As such I'm proposing the following changes:


    Option A:
    1. The explosion only affects the unit it attacked, or was attacked by upon death.
    2. Damage has no limit (explosion can result in killing the other unit)
    3. Zombies gain +25% vs warriors >or< Explosion affects up to 2 units in that stack with +1 at "Sorcery", and another +1 at "Strength of Will".
    4. Damage inflicted changed from magic to str based (to prevent zombies from zerging 60str world units)

    Option B:
    1. The explosion damages all units in a 1 square radius and has a chance to set them on fire 10% damage per round for 3 rounds(fire resistance grants immunity to this trait)
    2. The initial damage reduced to 4-7% with of limit of 30%

    Option C:
    1. Zombie Strength reduced to 1, fire damage increased to +2, along with a +1 at "Sorcery" and +2 at "Strength of Will"
    2. Zombies do not explode, and instead inflict collatoral damage on up to 3 units (equal to their +fire damage, no limit) and damage city defenses by 5-10%
    3. Zombies have a chance to 'come back from the dead' if defeated in combat and return to the tile they were destroyed on (with reduced health)


    Okay so there's my 2 cents. Hopefully this should prevent any exploitation while still retaining a useful and unique unit for the sheim. This thread is open for discussion.
     
  2. Honor

    Honor Immortal

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    Option D
    * PZ base str: 2 (+1 fire), gain +1 fire affinity at elementalism
    * 50% explosion damage cap for units inside a city, no cap out in the open.
     
  3. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    I don't like damage caps in general. I'd prefer all spells be able to kill.

    But if maelstrom/wither/tsunami are going to have damage caps, then it's pretty darned unfair that the pyre zombie explosion doesn't have one too.
     
  4. Thunder_Gr

    Thunder_Gr Emperor

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    I think the general misconception for Pyre Zombies has to do with this little phrase:
    So, once more, there is no other unit up this line for the Sheaim. None! At all! So, there is no unit to compare against a champion other than a Pyre Zombie. There are no Phalanxes, no Immortals, nothing. Only Pyre Zombies.

    IMO, Pyre Zombies is one of the most cleverly designed units in FFH 2. It is still weak enough to be at this point of the tech tree, but strong enough to keep the Sheaim from extinction until they manage to get their Eaters of Dreams.
     
  5. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    I think making their explosion start out weaker and get stronger as you go up the tech tree would be a nice solution.
     
  6. Thunder_Gr

    Thunder_Gr Emperor

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    Again, this would force Sheaim to research irrelevant lines, instead of concentrating to Religious & Arcane Lines.

    In addition, Pyre Zombies are undead and do not count for city defences(unhappiness caused by "we demand military protection").

    If you had it gain in strength while researching Arcane techs, this would overpower an already strong tech branch for the Sheaim.

    If the explosion strength was starting weak, any early axeman rush would just wipe them out.

    I think the best overal "nerf" of Pyre Zombies was done in FFH2040x(IIRC) when units stationed in a city got fortification bonuses against magical attacks, reducing the effectiveness of the Pyre Zombies explosion when attacking cities.
     
  7. Darkvlador

    Darkvlador Chieftain

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    Don't forget to upgrade them with the necrotower (give them strong) and with shutestone when hell is goming on Erebus
     
  8. 25Hour

    25Hour Some sort of lemur

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    (Re: first point): Or, to put it another way, it would introduce an interesting decision in the research focus of a Sheiam player, whereas right now it's an obvious beeline down the appropriate path. I must admit that it bugs me that minotaurs, if I recall correctly, are also on this tech line-- no players will want to research it because, as you say, the Sheiam's main strengths are right now only in religious and arcane lines. Hopefully tying the strength of PZs to this might entice more players up this tech path. Could be neat-- I really like the idea.

    The second point is not quite correct-- Pyre Zombies are not actually weaker than axemen, so they can defend against an axeman rush approximately as well as actual axemen could. Better, due to collateral unless I'm missing something.

    I also like your last idea-- I do not believe it would hurt the Sheiam unduly if the strength of PZ collateral was dramatically reduced to units within cities, but with about the same strength outside of them. Powerful defense, with still a powerful offense-- just not so powerful so as to start wars on the forums. :D
     
  9. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    not necessarily. the techs that improve PZ explosions could be on the arcane and religious path :D
     
  10. Thunder_Gr

    Thunder_Gr Emperor

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    Sheaim do not have enough time to research all these, except in low difficulty levels. They are pretty weak, early on, and need to concentrate their resources to research, leaving them vulnurable to attacks from civs with strong beggining forces.

    The difference is in numbers. And I stated that "if they started weaker" meaning weaker than it is now. The answer to point 1 is relevant here, also.

    That has already been done in FFH, and could be implemented in FF, also. However, I do not think it would keep the wars on the forums, because the first reaction nowadays when someone finds something that cannot defeat in a "brute force" manner, comes in the foroums and says how overpowered it is, and that it has to be nerfed.

    When I first encountered a Pyre Zombie, I was greatly surprised that, after its death, I got half of my stack injured badly, but I thought, "OK, they surly have a cap damage as all spells, so I can easilly take this city, even with the remaining forces". So, when the next explosion decimated my stack, I thougt "WOW! They can actually kill my troops when dying! Lets try something different!". I moved my troops 2 squares from the city, and used 2-movement troops to attack 1 by 1, so that the explosion wouldn't hurt my entire stack. The rest was easy...

    So, it is really not overpowered, except when used offensively by a human player, in order to weaken the defences of a city by having them die and damage the defenders.
    This is also the case with other types of magic, and having the defenders of a city get fortification bonuses against all types of magical attacks is a good thing, IMO.
     
  11. Breez

    Breez King

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    I assumed this had already taken place or would "soon"
     
  12. Thunder_Gr

    Thunder_Gr Emperor

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    It is already implemented in FFH. Not yet in FF, as far as I know.
     
  13. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    Why?

    Nobody said which lines.

    Seems pretty logical that the arcane line could upgrade them. better necromancers, and such. I could certainly see the logic in Elemtalism giving their explosion a boost. and maybe arcne lore.
     
  14. Thunder_Gr

    Thunder_Gr Emperor

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    I hope this answers your question.
     
  15. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    the sheiam aren't any weaker than anyone else early on. They're just as capable of a warrior rush as most other civs. And they have adepts who can summon skeletons from the off. They also have acess to archery line, like anyone else. And Archers in FF are a LOT stronger thanks to the ranged attack mechanics. To the point where they're really worthwhile using. Even not playing ljosalfar, it's not too difficult to fight with an army made mostly of archers. i've done it as grigori.

    Also, nobody seems to have mentioned the unique FF stuff yet. Armageddon brings out vast hordes of barbarian demons that fight for you, and you get free adepts+pit beasts from bradeline's well (which you'lll usually start near)

    I almost never had to build troops in a recent sheiam game I played. A couple of pyre zombies (whose explosion I never even used. Kept them alive), a few Death/Entropy I imps (no iron weapons for my enemies ), and rosier, were all I needed, to stand against stupidly vast stacks of troops that reached off the screen. The size of the demonic hordes scales with difficulty. In this case, I was on Emperor, and I found myself quite capably defending against many onslaughts, thanks to the vast hordes of demons softening them up as they approached.
     
  16. Thunder_Gr

    Thunder_Gr Emperor

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    @WarKirby
    I respect your opinion, but I disagree. I think the Sheaim are weaker than the clan/Hippus/Doviello etc, early on, but it is alright. I do not think they are underpowered or the others overpowered. I say they are good enough as it is, and pyre zombies do not need a nerf. I like their uniqness, and I enjoy them as my enemies.

    Armageddon is well after Strength of will, where the Sheim become the major players on the world. At that time, PZ are just a nuissance for the opponents and nothing more.

    I was not the starter of the thread complaining that PZ are overpowered. If you don't even bother to use them, I am surprised why you advocate on nerfing them.
     
  17. Vehem

    Vehem Modmod Monkey

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    That point is the problem. Pyre Zombies are never a nuisance - they can *always* kill any stack. On average, being attacked by a stack of 10 Pyre Zombies will have a 79% of killing any unit in the stack. 11 makes that 94% and 12 makes it 99%. The chances of suriving 15 Pyre Zombies in a stack is very close to 0.

    That is taking only the explosion damage into account, without the units being killed taking part in combat at all. At 60:hammers: each, they can reliably kill stacks of 240:hammers: Phalanx when used aggressively in a stack. Even if the defending stack had 20, 30, 40 or 100 units in it.

    Personally, my preferred "fix" here would be to make it a 100% limit, high collateral damage (which still allows units to be killed), but to limit the number of units that can be effected at once to 3. In that way, you can inflict heavy damage on a number of units in the field, but won't be capable of killing them without having significantly greater numbers than the enemy. The other benefit here is that it removes the need for a rather heavy python loop when the defending stack is large and there are a number of Pyre Zombies attacking.
     
  18. Sephi

    Sephi Deity

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    It seems to me Pyre Zombies explosion in FF are stronger than they are in FFH. I send 20 pyre zombies against Auric ascended in the open field and there was quite a difference. In FFH pyre zombies explosion do a lot less damage to stronger units like longbowmen. You are lucky (or unlucky) if the explosion does atleast 5%.
     
  19. Thunder_Gr

    Thunder_Gr Emperor

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    An unpromoted fireball has 25% of outright destroying an unpromoted PZ in direct combat without any modifiers.

    The PZ forces intelligent decisions.You know that a stack will be hurt if a PZ dies next to it, so, you don't do this. You protect your stacks, you kill PZ's with fireballs or weaker units(after you weaken the PZs). You know your Phalanx might not survive the explosion if not full strength, despite that >99.9 % the combat odds display. So you don't use your phalanx to do that. It is so simple. Why force the entire game to be Paper/Scisors/Stone type of game? The only unit that encourages some interesting tactical manouvers in order to counter, you want to make as ordinary as the rest...

    However, this is your mod, and if the current PZ implementation is not fun for you, the mod maker, I guess what I think is not really importand.
     
  20. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    I support this idea.
    I'd also lean towards implementing the same thing for Fireballs, though perhaps with a larger cap on the number of affected units. as Fireballs should be stronger than PZ, I would say.

    A thought though, how will it be decided WHICH three units to affect? Just the strongest ones?
     

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