Do we want kick ass champs?

By on October 25, 2010 10:51:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sinzer

Join Date 09/2007
+9

My vote is Yes.

 

One thing that is disappointing me at the moment is the fact that my champions are really weedy and useless. They have horribly expensive equipment and once you start getting big stacks/monsters they are literally rubbish unless skilled for magic.

 

Personally, if they are going to be in the tactical battles I would love to see them kick ass in them. I would prefer to spend more time levelling my champions, crafting them armour and skilling them then having just boring stacks of 12 archers/soldiers.

 

I was watching Lord of the Rings last night again and really wish I could craft a kick ass champion who would take down a stack of 12 with no sweat.

I think that their stats need to be beefed up mightily. Something along the lines of each level getting 5 points to distribute, with automatic increases in HP and Essence (if imbued).

 

EDIT : They are cost ineffective as well, to buy the champ often costs ~100 Gildar, to equip reasonably costs 100's and they level worse than stacks. At the moment they are only useful to explore the map as disposable troops or station in cities to boost economy (which is fair enough for some champs as I take them for their bonuses).

 

On another note, the item shop needs to be severely overhauled, at the moment it is like a 1990 JRPG shop. You can only sell and buy in seperate screens and you can't even see what you currently have equipped. Get rid of the annoying merchant in the middle and lets see a proper equipment screen so I can manage my hero properly.

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October 25, 2010 10:58:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Adding abilities that can grow would probably be the single biggest thing the devs could do to make non-imbued champions more fun, and more interesting strategically. Especially if they include non-combat abilities that can be improved through duty time at a settlement or fortification.

On another note, the item shop needs to be severely overhauled, at the moment it is like a 1990 JRPG shop. You can only sell and buy in seperate screens and you can't even see what you currently have equipped. Get rid of the annoying merchant in the middle and lets see a proper equipment screen so I can manage my hero properly.

The shop isn't the only area where eye candy has crowded out possible UI improvements, but it's one of the worst.

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October 25, 2010 11:08:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It is a bit strange to click the Inventory tab in the Shop and not have the units "actual" Inventory of stuff come up?

After having accidentally Sold back more items that I just purchased, yes my bad, I simply no longer click on the Inventory button, while in Shop, ever...


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October 25, 2010 1:05:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes, champs right now are kinda boring.  I want to be really attached to my champ, I want to really like this champ because of his ability to leap over walls and survive with his avoidance of missile weapons, or a champ that can breath fire, or a champ that can dual wield / doublestrike, or a champ that's an absolute tank, or a champ with all sorts of tricks like poison, gas clouds, blinding opponents, etc.

Right now champions aren't really all THAT different from a swordsman, in terms of flavor.

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October 25, 2010 2:23:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

While I'd like differentiation beetwen champions, I don't think they should be uberfighters. I see them mostly as generals who should have skills to improve the performance of other units. But it's true that having champions specialize in different directions could add some fun.

 

(goodgimp tell me that's not an actual picture of you)

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October 25, 2010 3:35:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,
My vote is Yes.

I was watching Lord of the Rings last night again and really wish I could craft a kick ass champion who would take down a stack of 12 with no sweat.

 

Sorry, but that would sux. maybe in a RPG that's great, but not a strategy game.

This particular game is a cross between the two, so it walks a fine line.

A 10-man horse archer squad with all the item shop stuff should be able to take down any champion including magic users if it gets the first shot.

If the quests & dungeoneering part of this game were limited to single heroes then players would get more bangs per buck for their heroes, but allowing armies to go on quests & into caves etc for dungeoneering along with heroes, takes away a lot from the RPG element of the game in my opinion (the armies will always win, making heroes less "needed") .. also the broken quests.

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October 25, 2010 3:58:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting cpl_rk,
...A 10-man horse archer squad with all the item shop stuff should be able to take down any champion including magic users if it gets the first shot. ...

If we were playing a strict materialist medieval game, I'd agree. But this is a fantasy TBS, and I'd prefer to see champions be able to play a range of roles in the game, including surreal combat prowess. The only way something like that would bite badly is if it just fed into the stack-of-doom problem instead of having risks well-connected to the rewards of being able to field a fighter like Aragorn or Legolas.

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October 25, 2010 4:16:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Meh, I don't really have a problem with their physical status right now.  The costs are pretty absurd and the items they have available to them are limited and vanilla, but their physical capabilities themselves are vastly superior.

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October 25, 2010 6:01:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think only a few things need to be done to make champions useful late game.

First and foremost is fixing the damn horse animation that makes using horses torture. With mounts it is easy to get an extra move in and also the better move on overland map.

Iniatiative will change the whole dynamic of battles too. If champions moved faster they would be worth more even if not quite as strong as squads of 12. This could be a stat that you can pump points in as they level up.

The prices of gear for champions needs to be balanced against other resources like when you train units. I spend thousands fully equipping a champion out with all the attack bonuses, armour, health bonuses, all the move gear you can get and bows and you are down maybe 2.5k per hero.

Finally I have found when you get to level 5 in adventuring a couple of +8 ATK books can really make a big difference given to the better heroes. I often get one or 2 heroes with 3 shots per turn and 80+ ATK.

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October 25, 2010 6:41:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, more powerful hero maybe not, but more powerful HIGH level hero yes. I see hero like in D&D: weak at first, but really strong as they level up. But presently, hero doesn't get really strong when they level... even their bonus don't have any boost with their level.

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October 25, 2010 6:56:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It's the moohoo armor system that gets high level combat heroes killed.

 

You've got your 20 armor suit, the enemy unit of 12 has their 20 armor suit on each unit, but you've got 20 dex so your armor weighs in at 40.  Instead of being nigh invincible, as the number would suggest, you roll a 1 for your armor roll, and die.

 

A unit of 12 with 240 combined defense is much, much easier to damage than a champion with 40, the problem is one lucky strike kills the champion, but only kills one of the 12.

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October 25, 2010 7:13:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes, I agree that champions should be able to specialize in combat as a Conan or whatever style hero.  It seem to me that squishy mage is the only viable use of champions once the mid game is reached currently, cause in melee they just get mowed down like grass.

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October 25, 2010 7:30:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It is not the hero's that are the problem, it is the squads!

 

Squads are only there as a way to compensate for the limitations of the battle screen so you can physically fit more troops in the battle, then squads 'cheat' in replacement troops if their number is depleted in a battle.

 

It would be better i think if squads were simply a formation that the player has full control to add or remove troops, and the advantage would be that all the units in the squad take damage and strike as 1 unit (but individual units could still be selected in battle if desired). Being able to put Hero's in squads would give them greater protection. You could have a rule that squads will be automatically dispersed into individual units when under the minimum number of troops to be allowed to have squads.

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October 26, 2010 2:22:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the "hero in squads' mechanic has merit - it's the way the Warhammer games do it.  I think the idea of only letting champs quest also makes a lot of sense.

Another thing I think would help a lot is if there were spells/effects/attacks that were "AOE on squad" so that if you attacked a squad with that, it would hit each individual in the squad, thus multiplying its damage, but a champ would only take the base damage.  Even melee attacks from things like a giant could hit multiple squad members - and thus, you'd have a tactical option for dealing with squads, just find spells/summons that dealt well with them.

 

 

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October 26, 2010 3:17:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If squads are the problem, then allowing them to combine with squads is a great idea. (again like Warhammer IIRC), That way they would behave like a body guard whilst the hero did his/her thing. The enemey would have to then destroy the squad before getting a shot at the hero. It wa mentioned that a squad of 4 with att 10 each still attacks as 4 hits of attack 10, so if you then allow the hero to have his attack too it wouldn't be unbalancing. Also Charisma could ultmately decide how good a quality of troop would allow the hero to join their ranks, bad charisma? Go fight with the peasants, good charisma come fight with us knights.

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October 26, 2010 4:41:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

For me the big problem with champions is their fragility. They're amazingly easy to kill with their few HP, unless you massively up their constitution, in which case they end up useless in battle. But it is very possible to end up with powerful characters. With a longbow, a little magic equipment and a LOT of strength, you end up with a bowman/woman capable of dropping half a regiment a turn.

A quick example of how to achieve this: Leather armour (to avoid speed penalties), the equipment items that improve combat speed, magic items that improve combat speed and maybe one or two level ups that improve combat speed, you're capable of firing a bow three times a turn. If you have a Longbow (5 damage) and items that provide +5 damage (easy if you use the -def +dam item) you've got a base attack of 10, if you have 25 strength you're sitting on a single unit that fires 3 25 damage attacks a turn.

Yes, it takes time and effort, but you end up with someone capable of magic-levels of ranged damage without mana as a limiting factor. Do this with four or so champions and you end up with a small force that costs no upkeep and is capable of destroying whole armies.

Edit: I figure I should be constructive. To combat the weakness of champions, I'd like to see each level improve their basic health. Something simple like each level increasing their HP by 10%. With this and constitution, you could end up with very, very tough champions if that's what you were gearing for.

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October 26, 2010 5:40:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The problem is a hero at that point has maybe 30 to 40 hit points and he is facing ranged units and spellcasters that deal more than 50 points a damage a shot. Against a human player those heroes are dead. After investing the time and effort to get the hero to that level of equipment and ability, he is still far too fragile and needs to somehow keep pace with the hp of the squad he is facing, otherwise he is just good for monster hunting and ai killing at this point. I believe that is the argument that is being made here.

perhaps the protection versus magic is supposed to solve part of this problem with regards to facing enemy spellcasters ( i have yet to actually use the spell and don't know how well it works) but archers still remain a problem in this situation.

 

Which is why i think heroes in might and magic 5 went back to being leaders of the army after the experiences the game designers learned from in might and magic 4.

However, this is not might and magic - this is inspired more by MoM and AoW and we want to fight with our heroes.

Now in those games, the heroes gradually leveled up - they started as being more fragile than tier 1 creatures, then got gradually built up to be stronger than a tier 4 creature and were virtually unstoppable. They were the ultimate tier 5 monsters, and perhaps one or two summoned creatures, or 1 tier 4 creature, could match them in strength.

 

EDIT: OF course, after finishing my message, i realize that this problem is exagerated by the nature of the open field of battle in the tactical map and that our poor spellcaster does not have the opportunity to hide behind some cover while he casts his/her long range spell that don't require line of sight. Although that still leaves our poor archer hanging in the dust.

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October 26, 2010 7:10:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah, I think the key is in the Champions health, that it doesn't scale.

 

I am not saying they should be unbeatable, there should be some risk, but being at risk of being one-shotted pretty much past early game, makes them useless or severly over - priced.

 

I am a warhammer fan too, but having them as part of a squad brings around a lot of changes to mechanics that would be hard to implement and not really what I would like to see.

 

I dont think that one champion should be able to take down 9 stacks or ordinary troops, however it should be able to take a few hits and deal some damage out.

 

Bows at the moment seem the only viable use for them. Sit them at the back, exhaust their mana and use range attacks. Hope they don't get focused by spells or range from other side.

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October 26, 2010 8:43:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i want the hp system reformed to be determined primarily by level (whether squad level or sov level) instead of directly linked to CON.

so a sov gets 10hp + 5/subsequent level

while troops might be 8 + 4/subsequent level

then apply constitution afterwards as a multiplier (so level 1 sov with 11con gets 1.1 x 10 = 11hp)

this would seem like a more consistent system. we are also then open to nice possibilities such as racial characteristics (ie, ironeers get 11con so +10% hp for troops, wraiths get 11 dex so +1 defence or whatever)

the numbers of course are totally out of whack; but the damage and attack system is being redone entirely, so this would need reasessing anyway.

i agree sovs shouldn't be walking over multiple units of infantry, but we also can't have a situation where archers or spells can just snipe a champion because of their low hp (currently very possible). merging into squads is a great idea. i think that squads need to be opened up and redesigned anyway, to allow things like combining leftovers.

i also want 3 men to become the basic minimum unit size. this would be the easiest way of giving battles a more epic feel and speeding up combat by putting fewer units onscreen. the first squad tech has become "essential" before building any units and this is wrong. a 200% increase in unit effectiveness is too much for one tech. starting at 3, then going to 5, 7, 9 is much better paced imo.

as for specialization: it's desirable but i don't think it requires a new game system or anything. mostly it could be done by improving equipment. you should be able to buy equipment for individuals before you are able to give it to squads. by the mid game you should have low level magical items for champs and good mundane items for squads. there should be a "craft" button on the store screen that buys items for champs with resources instead of gold for when you can't afford the latter.

if melee items are more achievable and effective, champs will be better able to specialize in this field. this could be done for magic specialization too by adding some "wizard's robes" to the store that provide less defensive bonuses but boost spellcasting stats. currently there is no reason not to take armour and this is also wrong. if people don't want to go down the magic route than give them another use for their mana, instead ofadding a new system. for example, a long term buff spell with low low requirements that permanently boost fighting abilities, but has a mana maint (like summons are going to have).

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October 26, 2010 9:53:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't want a kick ass champion, I want a useful notable persons who has unique purposes for my kingdom (not only at the beginning but to the entire game).

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October 26, 2010 10:53:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Brainsucker,
I don't want a kick ass champion, I want a useful notable persons who has unique purposes for my kingdom (not only at the beginning but to the entire game).

give the man a cigar.

I'm happy with the current strength of champs in relation to squads.

The only thing I would add is that adventure type heroes (perhaps notables too) should be allowed to be added to squads (one hero per squad). They would share the fate of the squad if the squad died, or have a % chance of getting killed each time a squad member dies. They would add their strength to the squad.

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October 26, 2010 2:41:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

First, just let me agree strongly with the item shop criticisms.

Second, they have made champions bland and uninteresting (as they have done with most of the game). I am playing MoM waiting for 1.1: now I have my wind mage, champion with leadership, legendary champion, pathfinder, etc. In Elemental, i have 12 guys named Viy adding 1 gold per turn. If I got them to level 100, they would still just generate 1 gold/turn. They peak when found. Now there are the champions who go out and kill things, takes me about 60 turns to save enough money to (poorly) equip one, another 10 turns if they need a bow. What fun that is. In MoM, I accept that a fully tooled max level hero (especially if you are a Warlord) with high level artifacts is too strong - but that is easily fixed if there were even higher level opponents out there. Speaking of artifacts... Well that is all one can do in Elemental, there's certainly nothing interesting in the game.

Better chmapions, with a little bit more 'character' would be nice, adding some interesting/useful artifacts would be even better. Fixing the economy so that if you get stuck with a single gold mine, the game is not totally tedious and one can actually afford to build units, equip champions, etc would be really good.

This is a game with huge potential but even 1.09 is too flawed and unstable (my crashes are down to every 5 turns or so, but that remains on the wrong side of acceptable) to really enjoy. Haven't played for two weeks, not even a tingle of interest in trying it again. I am looking forward to 1.1 but suspect that it still will not be as much fun as MoM - as flawed as MoM itself is. 

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October 26, 2010 3:22:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

They really aren't that weak, it's just the bleeding system.  A champion is much, much tougher, it's just too random and damage numbers are absurdly high in comparison to hit points.  Combat is like a river, it's either fast and shallow, or slow and deep.

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October 26, 2010 5:50:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Anglophile,
First, just let me agree strongly with the item shop criticisms.

 Speaking of artifacts... Well that is all one can do in Elemental, there's certainly nothing interesting in the game.

Yep somewhat powerful artifacts through magic would help champions, and also the potential to learn different non-mana abilities as they level too. I also like the idea and suggested it before of scaling abilities like merchants who can earn more than 1 gold per turn as they level.

I don't know if it's just me, but I think I get too many champions in a large map. I seem to end up with dozens and dozens of them by about turn 300.

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October 26, 2010 6:09:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree.

As a fan of Master of Magic, I enjoy powerful and unique heroes.

Hopefully that will change in future versions, or it will have to be modded in.

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October 27, 2010 12:02:38 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Ok...would I like kick butt champs? sure, who wouldn't. However, I prefer the lead from the rear gererals like in real life.  Fantasy or not, game or not, I think it best that we keep SOME semblence of reality.  I WILL admit it would be nice if champs had better defence so that a unit of archers couldn't just look at them and kill them, but even Aragon succommed to a horde of Orcs.  Yes, it was a horde, but he did need rescuing.

Here is what I think should/could happen. Instead of them dying in the fight, IF you still win the battle they live with 1 health and zero mana, if you lose the battle then they either die or, not as cool I know, they get captured and can be ransomed in some fashion back to the player who owned them.  AI would give you a limited number of choices, say X amount of gold for them with no equiptment back, X amount of gold with all gear back, or kill them?  Something like that maybe?

My 2 cents.

-Gizmet

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