Champions are kind of pitiful, and other thoughts.

By on August 23, 2010 11:53:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

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Join Date 09/2002
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Not sure if this has been pointed out before, but my biggest issue right now is with champions.

 

1) When a champion levels up, the points gained are not enough to make the champion really powerful by late game. They just plain "get owned" by pretty much everything in the late game.

2) Champions don't really have much more health than any single unit you can train at your cities. That is a major problem because of 3.

3) When my level 9 champion with 30 health, 70 attack, and 30 defense fights a group of 10 bad guys with 150 attack and 32 defense, he swings, hits for around 25, then the stack retaliates and the champion is hit for 92 damage and is dead. Well, there went several hours of building up that champion for nothing. He couldn't even beat a single 'unit' that was trained at a city. 

 

Now, the solution to this is simple: Let champions form groups. Then you can put all your champions in your army into one fighting group and they might be able to stand up to the other units.

Also, mounted units should be *much* harder for non-mounted units to hit. And, when they *do* hit, they should only hit for small amounts of damage because they will only get grazing blows. That is why mounted knights are so devastating against foot soldiers in battle.

I also have to agree with others that spells are exceedingly redundant and un-interesting. I'm worried Stardock is going to take a lot of heat from critics out there when they review the gold edition without updating to the Day-0 release. 

Finally, while there are a lot of aspects of the new UI that I like, it almost feels like some of the stuff i want to use frequently has been buried in additional "layers" and I need to search for them now instead of having them right at my fingertips. 

 

The champions issue is my biggest complaint, with spells my next biggest. When those two are addressed, then I think this will be a great and interesting game. However, I cannot really enjoy building up a champion when I know that if the champion engages in battle it will just mowed down. I also cannot really enjoy the spell aspect when they are pretty much all the same, not very powerful, and just plain un-interesting. On the other hand, the empire building and unit building are pretty good, but unless units can be combined into groups later and have their equipment updated, they will never be great.

Basically, I guess I just feel that the game is not yet finished. I know Stardock is planning on working on the game for the next year, but I almost feel like it should not have been released yet. I think it needs another 3-6 months of polish, at least, before I would consider it ready for release. I fell kind of sad for Stardock, because I can already see the critics' reviews ...they won't wait for 3-6 months for extra polish. They will judge the game based on it's initial release, and those reviews will stick around for years and keep people from playing the game and realizing that things have improved.

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August 23, 2010 12:02:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes, some of the balancing still needs a lot of work. One big issue that hugely affects champions is the fact that a unit group simply pools all of its stats and treats it as one. So if you have 10 units with 10 damage each, on an attack the game just rolls 0-100. This is obviously bad when your single champion only has 30 hp. What should happen is each of those 10 units rolls 0-10 and the champion is then given a defense roll for each of the 10 attacks.

This change alone would make single champions infinitely more balanced against a squad.

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August 23, 2010 12:09:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Annatar11,
Yes, some of the balancing still needs a lot of work. One big issue that hugely affects champions is the fact that a unit group simply pools all of its stats and treats it as one. So if you have 10 units with 10 damage each, on an attack the game just rolls 0-100. This is obviously bad when your single champion only has 30 hp. What should happen is each of those 10 units rolls 0-10 and the champion is then given a defense roll for each of the 10 attacks.

This change alone would make single champions infinitely more balanced agaiTnst a squad.

 

THIS. IT'S PERFECT!

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August 23, 2010 12:11:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

yeah i agree, champions arent really improved from beta

i was hoping for good skills but its not the case

 

the main issue is not really balance, is that there is not an idea behind, they are not characterized at all

 

 

just a pool of "slightly" better stats

CONFUSED stats cause they all are too much "balanced", not clearly warriors or caster or anything

 

same goes with sovereign though

 

if they could all cast they would be too much powerful, i know but right now they are not fun

 

imo they should have AT LEAST 1 personal skill/spell enough powerful to mark them

 

also like i pointed out in the beta, the imbue is to rework completely

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August 23, 2010 12:13:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Annatar11,
Yes, some of the balancing still needs a lot of work. One big issue that hugely affects champions is the fact that a unit group simply pools all of its stats and treats it as one. So if you have 10 units with 10 damage each, on an attack the game just rolls 0-100. This is obviously bad when your single champion only has 30 hp. What should happen is each of those 10 units rolls 0-10 and the champion is then given a defense roll for each of the 10 attacks.

This change alone would make single champions infinitely more balanced against a squad.

 

i dont agree

this would m ake them just op

 

its easy to get a very high number in defense

 

if they would all roll 0-10 against 40 defense they would do nothing

 

but as usual thats another problem of the combat system

 

dmg reduction shoudl be multiplicative, thats the best way to balance things later on

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August 23, 2010 12:14:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree that it should work like that, this would greatly improve champions and big monsters, but also give more importance to armor and weapon techs.

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August 23, 2010 12:19:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd prefer to see the ability to embedded champions in a unit of regular units (sort of a body guard).  They would effectively act as one unit on the battlefield.  Grouping together champions may be a UI mess (i.e. do the move together?  what if there are a lot of unique abilities)

I agree on the basic point that it stinks to invest a lot of effort building up your heroes without the ability for them to be useful in later-game combat.

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August 23, 2010 12:26:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ddd888,


if they would all roll 0-10 against 40 defense they would do nothing

 

Actually I do not think it is true. If you have defense higher than attack, it does not mean that you are immune, there is some chance that unit will still hit you. I do not know how exactly it is calculated though.

A good way could have been the following. Both roll attack and defense, one is 0-10 and another is 0-40. Then one checks which one is greater.

In this particular case there is about 1/8th chance of attack roll to be higher than defense roll, and that means that you will get 1 or 2 hits out of 10, with average being about 2.5, which gives you on average 4 points loss from single attack of stack of 10 units with 10 attack each to your 40 armor. I think this may be good.

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August 23, 2010 12:30:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

this would m ake them just op



its easy to get a very high number in defense



if they would all roll 0-10 against 40 defense they would do nothing

Which would be true, if that was actually the case. It's also very easy to get high in *offense*.

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August 23, 2010 12:45:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A lot of us have been saying that split attacks might be a better implementation than a single combined attack.

It would be nice to have the necessary code available so that I could mod group-units to have split attacks (if its possible, I'm sure its possible?)

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August 23, 2010 12:55:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Annatar11,


Which would be true, if that was actually the case. It's also very easy to get high in *offense*.

 

sure but then the game would be only champions against champions cause all the rest would be like ants for them

 

for example i rather see champions level up faster, usually i get 3 4 levels easy and then 1 2 more each game

 

i rather instead have at least 7 8 levels easy  so champions would be more customized

 

and strong, solving the main issue

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August 23, 2010 12:56:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah, I know, we've been pitching the idea in various threads for a while Of course it's possible to change it, but not for us I think this is something that's likely to be seriously looked at now that the game is released, and hopefully tweaked in an update. I'd be a bit surprised if it's left as-is. As modders we'd only be able to change it if the relevant mechanic is exposed to python scripting down the line, and at the moment there's no guarantee of that.

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August 23, 2010 1:00:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

sure but then the game would be only champions against champions cause all the rest would be like ants for them

How are you getting this? I don't think you're fully understanding how it would work.

Even if the champion has 60 attack and one of the units in a squad has 20 defense, your champion still only does one attack. So even if it completely mangles that unit, still only one dies out of the squad because there was one defense roll to one attack roll.

That's why it's balanced! A squad gets more attack rolls against a single champion, and the champion thus has an easier time defending. And at the same time, the champion only attacks one unit in the squad, so the whole 10 guys don't die from one attack.

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August 23, 2010 1:03:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Bah, the combat system from Dominions was great at modeling how big units would fare against a hoard of little guys.  I don't understand the reasoning behind the current implementation, and I don't understand why every designer thinks they have to invent their own system.

 

I hope that the combat system is either modable, or simply changed to something a bit more reasonable.

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August 23, 2010 1:07:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

yeah but there are spells also

 

squads  get halved in the first 2 turns  usually

 

 

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August 23, 2010 1:18:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like the Champions how they are. They shouldn't be able to take on armies single handed, they're not gods. You can easily hit around the 50's for attack and defence though which makes them pretty respectable compared to the other single creature units. You can then let your own army deal with the grunts while your champions go off to duel the enemy champions.

Health is an issue though. You need to either dump all the points into health, or watch them smack a dragon down to 10 HP and then be killed by it's retaliation. I think automatically increasing health every level would fix that (with the option of putting points in for extra health of course).

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August 23, 2010 1:19:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like how packing my soldiers together in a small area makes them immune to area of effect spells...  

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August 23, 2010 1:22:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

its not the brute strenght the issue but the charisma

 

they lack personality and sometimes fun

 

you care them, you feed them, and they dont repay your love enough, imo

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August 23, 2010 1:29:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The problem is, why would anyone want a champion rather than a stack of doom? They cost roughly the same, but the SoD is more powerful. And why shouldn't champions lay waste to whole armies? It's either that, or make them buff the armies they're with. Or let us attach them to units, warhammer 40k-style, and let the champion buff the unit.

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August 23, 2010 1:41:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

They are going to have to change the 'parties act as one' mechanic.  Makes stacks way OP.

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August 23, 2010 1:44:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Champions really should just be "better".  Higher stats, etc.

 

Who cares about a stack of doom.  I find champions are generally less useful than a single military unit.  Why?  They cost about 5x more to upgrade, and are only slightly superior to that unit.  I then go around babysitting the champion where the much-cheaper unit can die for all I care.

 

And then, when the unit dies, I buy the next unit up, and it's stronger than my champion for a net cost of less (assuming I upgrade units once every hundred turns.  The only useful bonus I find in a non-magic-using champion is the lower upkeep cost.

 

Champions should not be memorable as "hey, I can take my time with them because they don't have an upkeep".

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August 23, 2010 2:01:09 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

While I'm all for making the groups attack multiple times it's going to take a lot more than splitting the attacks to balance it. A few scenarios to consider.

 

You've got a group of 10 guys with 10 attack fighting a dragon with 100 defense and 100 attack. The formula I keep seeing posted for combat is something like.

Attack Roll - Defense Roll = damage if > 0 else "Miss"

Currently you'd have  1-100 vs 1-100

In the new system you'd have 1-10 vs 1-100

Chances are that group of units would never hit the dragon, 90% of the outcomes for the dragon defense roll ends in a miss for the infantry. In the current system they are on equal footing for this scenario.

Now face the other direction, the dragon is attacking the group of 10 guys, currently it has the ability to kill them all in one attack. With the proposed system they'd simply die one at a time, lots of overkill for the dragon in melee. What took 1-2 turns before took 10 this time, and the dragon was never in any danger whatsoever. Shouldn't a dragon be able to hit more than one unit at a time anyway? tailswipes over large areas, breathing fire, etc etc.

In order to make this work you'd need to implement a system that had target limits for attacks based on the size of the unit, rework the attack/defense system and implement a damage/armor system as well. Example:

Base attack and defense of every creature in the world is 100, Modifiers include race/size/abilities/items/spells/stats etc etc...

Ancient Dragon

Attack 150 (50 from size)

Defense 50 (-50 due to size)

Armor 10 (+10 from ancient dragon scale)

Melee: 15 Physical Damage Max Targets (3)

Fire Breath: 8 Fire Damage Limited Use Max Targets (10)

200 HP

 

Squad (6) of Dragonslayers

Attack 110 (10 from amulet of accuracy)

Defense 85 ( -25 from heavy armor +10 from mount)

Armor 7 (5 vs Fire) (7 from full masterwork dragonslayer  Plate)

Melee: 12 Physical Damage Max Targets (1)

Charge: Granted by mount melee damage +5 must cross 3 tiles before attack to execute

10 hp each

 

Combat would play out similar to this:

 

Dragonslayers charge:

Rolls:

110 vs 10 (Critical Hit 150% damage)  25.5 damage vs 10 armor 15.5 damage

82 vs 36 (Hit) 17 vs 10 = 7 damage

98 vs 45 (Hit) 17 vs 10 = 7 damage

76 vs 20 (Hit) 17 vs 10 = 7 damage

56 vs 34 (Hit) 17 vs 10 = 7 damage

20 vs 50 (Miss....yes he missed a giant dragon) Scold him or something?

43.5 damage applied to the dragon

 

Retaliation by dragon for the attack is melee:

Melee gets 3 targets due to size so the rolls go like this:

 

150 vs 60 (Critical hit 150% damage) 18 vs 7 armor 11 damage

120 vs 72 (Hit) 12 vs 7 = 5 damage

73 vs 85 (Miss)

 

Dragonslayer I dies

Dragonslayer II is at 50%

and Dragonslayer III wet himself

 

 

That's just a minor example of how a combat would go, all the numbers need to be tweaked and whatnot but the general idea remains.

 

Attack/Defense for hit/miss only

Damage vs Damage resistance

Modifiers due to size/spells/special abilities/racial features/stats

 

Str = Bonus damage/attack

Dex = Bonus defense

Con = HP/slight armor bonus

Int/Wis = Elemental/spell resistance

Cha = ...... I don't know

 

Thoughts?

 

 

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August 23, 2010 2:10:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Werewindlefr,
The problem is, why would anyone want a champion rather than a stack of doom? They cost roughly the same, but the SoD is more powerful. And why shouldn't champions lay waste to whole armies? It's either that, or make them buff the armies they're with. Or let us attach them to units, warhammer 40k-style, and let the champion buff the unit.

Because the champion can, with a few simple casts, turn that stack of doom into an uber stack of doom? Then of course you have their class abilities like additional movement or more loot from successful battles.

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August 23, 2010 2:51:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Archonsod,

Because the champion can, with a few simple casts, turn that stack of doom into an uber stack of doom?

 

Imbuing is way too expensive to turn every champion into a spellcaster. And not every champion should need to be a spellcaster either, warriors should be effective as well.

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August 23, 2010 3:32:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,


Also, mounted units should be *much* harder for non-mounted units to hit. And, when they *do* hit, they should only hit for small amounts of damage because they will only get grazing blows. That is why mounted knights are so devastating against foot soldiers in battle.

I'm pointing this out because largely this is incorrect. First of all, mounted knights are devastating on the charge, the tactic for knights is to destroy the enemy lines with one charge and hope they break (which they did almost all of the time). When combat gets bogged down, a mount does very little except for restrict movement. In a tactical battle scenario, mounts are pretty much just aesthetics, as the whole logic of the charge is thrown out the window.

Also, Elemental measures likelihood of a hit by using attack versus defense. If you were to give a bonus to defense (which would have to be much greater to render them much more difficult to hit) as well as the current bonuses, they would be well and truly ridiculously broken. Having a horse does not make you a god in combat, it gives you a mobility advantage. 

That is all, 

Paradoxical

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August 23, 2010 3:43:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Wexmajor,

Imbuing is way too expensive to turn every champion into a spellcaster. And not every champion should need to be a spellcaster either, warriors should be effective as well.

They are, if used correctly. But not every champion should be in combat in the first place; only thieves contribute anything to your combat result, adventurers are useful for an extra move point. They're the only one's you want in an army, the merchants, nobles, sages et al are much better safe in the cities where they can boost your economy without getting killed or lowering the XP gain for everyone else.

 

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