[0.914][Suggestion] Weapon balancing feedback (warning: long)

some thoughts on weapon types after a lot of games across multiple beta 3 versions...

By on May 15, 2012 3:29:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Kalin

Join Date 03/2006
+29

This is a collection of notes and thoughts I've jotted down during my time playing FE across several versions of beta 3, yes, it's pretty long, I apologize before hand.

Let me start out by saying that I'm not terribly thrilled that weapons gets these innate abilities (I would much prefer that it be handled through traits), but since this seems to be the course from here on out, I'm willing to put that aside and find a way to make the system interesting. As long as the end goal, to make the weapons feel different and unique, is achieved, I'm okay with it.

So let's start by taking a quick look at the weapons as they are, right now... (note that this is just the weapons that units get access to, and not accounting for all the rare & legendary equipments, as those are very hard to balance and beyond the scope of this thread)

  1. Maces:
    + Has the first weapon in the game (club), abeited a terrible one, still, it's doesn't get any easier to get started
    + Easy and quick access to Lightning Hammer, a powerful weapon for high level units, and a good choice to upgrade your early game militias into if you made any and managed to keep them alive
    - Initiative penalties makes the weapons simply too slow to use in most circumstances... mace wielders just don't get as many moves... severely crippling their offensive capability.
    - Late game Mauls are particularly horrible... 2-handed, and -8 initiative? You might as well sit on the sideline and watch the battle. (Note that I considered mauls as 2-handed maces rather than staffs)
    - High end armor has bonus to blunt (even Tarth can use champion gear), making it particularly less useful endgame unless you're using Lightning Hammers on high level troops.

  2. Swords:
    + Counter attack makes it a good defensive weapon in conjunction with bonus defense for defending (defend & counter)
    + Some swords has initiative bonuses, letting their wielders move more often
    + Has some decent magical weapon... the best being the powerful Boreal blades that all militia troops end up using (but has a tendency to make the player equip cold resist cloaks).
    + A good early game weapon to use, as only a few monster has negate counter
    - Terrible mid-game due to chain mail's bonus to cutting attacks
    - Not so great endgame due to overall lower attack versus higher armor values (and particularly terrible against Tarth)

  3. Spears:
    + One of the first weapon you get (aside from the basic club), so that makes it very easy to get & upgrade
    + Pierces armor, making it useful from the beginning (hunting armored monsters) all the way to the end game
    + Negates counter attack, making it the perfect counter for sword defenders
    + Has one of the best magical weapon (Lightning Pike) for elite troops, not only does it becomes more powerful per level, but there are also very few monsters that has lightning resist.
    - Two-handed seems to be the only downside... to which Krax laughs at.

  4. Axes:
    + Backswing has a somewhat limited use particularly on low accuracy unit (like broken spirited sovereigns or one-eyed heroes) or versus specific strategies (high evade or blindness casting players)
    - None of the magical axes screams useful...
    - Terrible mid-game due to chain mail's bonus to cutting attacks
    - Higher tiered axes are two-handed, with no good one-hand alternative

  5. Daggers:
    + Daggers get critical bonuses, works okay on very specific loaded assassin builds, but not too useful for anyone else
    - There's actually only 1 dagger for units, and it's virtually worthless... essentially a weak sword with a bit of critical
    
  6. Staffs:
    + Monk staff has an interesting avoid bonus per level and counter, but is essentially worthless as a weapon to do damage
    - Two-handed, no shield bonus
    - Only 2 staff in the game, one worthless, the other almost as worthless. (I don't count Mauls - those are 2-hand maces)
    - Lowers critical chance... really? Was it really THAT necessary to nerf this weapon even more?

  7. Bows:
    + Ranged, allowing you to get a hit or two in while melees are moving, can target often-times soft target in the back without needing to run up or chase them.
    - Pretty hard to get (too far down the warfare tree, and often completely skipped because early bows aren't amazingly useful - often times I'll just get the Ignis bow from magic instead)
    - Harsh initiative penalties, archers just don't move very often...
    - Low attack makes it almost useless against armor
    - Tarth's bows aren't so "feared" as much as they are the only really viable bows (aside from Ignis).
    - Archer militia doesn't seem to update their bows unlike melee militias

  8. Magical Staffs:
    + Ranged, allowing you to get a hit or two in while melees are moving, can target enemies in the back without needing to run up or chase them down.
    + Elemental, allowing you to hurt armored opponents, in exchange for being useless against a select few who has resists
    - Harsh initiative penalties, magi just don't move very often...
    - Costs quite a bit of crystal to field, so are not really viable until late game (early game magi are too weak anyways)

If everything stay the way it is (relatively), to balance weapons, you'd probably need to do something like, buff maces, slightly buff axes & bows while nerfing spears, and maybe give daggers & staffs an identity... but I don't think that would be enough. So let me explain my alternative...


For one thing, the idea that weapons modify the initiative of units directly somewhat bothers me (it's one thing to have a dagger of haste do it, it's another to have all daggers do it). The reason is pretty obvious, it's one of the reason people avoid maces like the plague, or why people equip their casters with basic daggers (or hunter's short sword). Initiative is just too important to toss on as a bonus/penalty, you're going to have a nightmare trying to balance it. So what you first need to do is set up a comprehensive encumbrance system to take care of that for you.

So here's my proposal for the encumbrance system: Instead of a 2 tier penalty like it is now (where you get -2 initiative above 40 and -4 above 80), extend it to a 3 tier penalty system. In this new system, you get -3 initiative when above 30 encumbrance (light), -6 when above 60 (medium), and -9 when above 90 encumbrance (heavy). To compensate for the harsher penalties, add 10 capacity for everyone. The idea is to design your unit with either minimal (30 or under) or light (60 or under) encumbrance, and a max of medium encumbrance (90 or under). This has the effect of reducing the overall strength of high end armor (unless you're willing to sacrifice a lot of initiative for it) and increasing the significance of traits like strength & muscle, Yithril's blood and items that raises carrying capacity. (You could even go further and just make it every 10% is -1 initiative, but you don't have to.)

After the encumbrance system is in play, rework the weapons' weight values to take advantage of it (this will be how you handle initiative bonus & penalties). Heck, don't even think of it as the weapon's weight (light, heavy, etc) anymore, but rather as an overall encumbrance value that reflects both the weight and the difficulty in wielding it (like a combat style associated with the weapon which needs a certain amount of encumbrance as well). With that, make Swords and Staffs easy to use (0-10 encumbrance), Daggers and Maces are average in difficulty (10-20 encumbrance), Spears, Axes, and Range weapons are difficult (20-30 encumbrance). I'll explain why I chose these values a bit later in their own section. This way, you could still have a fairly fast archer (magi/spears/axes users), but they would need strength, muscle, and other carrying capacity bonuses, and even then, they probably still wouldn't be able to wear heavy armor (the weapon weighs so much more), while naturally defensive weapons, like swords and staffs, lets you wear a lot more armor with fewer penalties (although staffs has its own mechanic). Put all of these decisions into the player's hands, and I think you'll end up making the unit design more important and interesting part of the game. It'll also make balancing weapons a lot easier (you just tweak attack and weight values).


With that out of the way, let's discuss the weapons themselves:

  1. Maces (blunt, medium damage, average difficulty/weight):
    a. New ability: Damage Armor. Every time you hit an opponent with a mace, their armor value gets reduced by 10%. Although it's not a straight penetration like spears, if you get into a prolonged fight with a mace user (or a group of them), you'll be in a tough spot. The damage is temporary (a debuff that stacks), and is repaired after battle. This allows mace users to wear down opponents, which is great early game to fight those tough defense monsters (making militias a bit more useful in tough fights instead of just being fodder). Factions with armoring bonuses might have their defense reduced by a couple of percent less per hit (8% reduction per hit instead of 10%), and those who specializes in hammers might do more per hit (12% reduction per hit instead of 10%).
    b. New ability: Clunk. Every time you successfully hit a well-armored enemy, instead of doing a "Clink" that does 1 damage, you instead do a "Clunk" that does 3. Basically, it's their minimum damage you do on hit. This is to make them able to scratch their opponent while the def is still up.
    c. Two handed maces are heavier, does more damage, and has a bigger clunk ... I mean higher min damage (5?)
    d. Maces skills (traits like apprentice swordsmen, but can be assigned to units as well): Improve blunt damage, improve minimum damage (clunk's damage). The idea is to have 2 of these for each weapon type (apprentice, and master - with master being a bit better but requires apprentice), so you have to choose between this versus something like strength to wear more armor, or fast for that bonus initiative, or toughness for HP, etc... basically, give more good trait choices to make you pull your hair out while designing your units.

  2. Swords (cutting, medium damage, easy to use/light):
    a. Sword gives bonus def (2-5) all the time, and either a bonus def while defending, or a multiplier to def while defending. The goal is to specialize swords as the ultimate defensive weapon, one that is capable of having a formidable defense even in the early game without strong armors. They basically walk up, tank hits with their def, and then give it back through counters. Sword should also have a slight multiplier to counter damage (they deal more damage doing counters than they do attacking normally) for this reason. It should feel dangerous to attack a swordsmen.
    b. Every sword should have 2 counter attacks instead of one (as this is how swords primarily do their damage). Altar's special swords should give either a larger bonus to attack, or a higher multiplier to counter attack damage, or both.
    c. Two handed swords are heavier, and does more damage.
    d. Sword skills (swordsmen skills, assignable to units): Improve cutting damage, improve counter attack damage

  3. Spears (piercing, medium damage, hard to use/heavy):
    a. I'm basically using spears as the baseline for the other weapons, so not a lot is changed aside from making them weight more. I thought about giving it a range of 2, or a piercing attack of 2 (to explain why they can't be countered), but that might make things too complicated.
    b. Spear skills (again, new traits that can be assigned to units): Improve piercing damage, reduce weapon encumbrance

  4. Axes (cutting, high damage, hard to use/heavy):
    a. Backswing works the same as it does currently, it's good for low accuracy unit or against high evade units, but axes gets a damage upgrade to compensate for being heavier. This makes axes simple, yet effective weapons.
    b. Two handed axes are even heavier and does even more damage... making it very difficult to use for most... (they become the maul's replacement) but also makes perfect sense for Yithril to specialize in due to their blood trait.
    c. Axe skills (do I need to explain again?): Improve cutting damage, reduce weapon encumbrance

  5. Dual Daggers (piercing & cutting, low damage, average difficulty/weight):
    a. Daggers becomes effectively two handed weapons, as you are essentially wielding a pair of daggers (hence "Dual Daggers"). They are meant as offensively focused weapons (to make them feel different from swords) so you can't wield them with a shield. This is why daggers are not easy to use (and also because it just seems weird for dagger users to load up on heavy armor). It would be great if the graphics could show dual wielding, even if it's just a fake mechanic.
    b. New ability: Double attack. When attacking, daggers hits twice, the first hit is a cutting attack, and the second hit a piercing one. So while daggers does low damage, they aren't as vulnerable to a particular damage type resistance (and able to inflict special effects twice). Daggers are able to somewhat pierce defenses (20-30% on the second hit), their primary way to do damage is still through critical strikes (which now effectively has a double chance of happening).   
    c. Daggers get 1 counter attacks per round, but only hits once (unlike when attacking), however dagger counters hits first (before the other attacks). This is to further reinforce the image that dagger users are fast and deadly. Unlike sword's counter that depends on actually tanking the hit first and returning it for more, dagger's counter tries to take the target out (or weaken them up) before they even attack.
    d. Add some more daggers to fill the mid & end game, and some special daggers (poison daggers, weakening daggers, etc) to make things interesting
    e. Dagger skills (...): Improve critical chance and multiplier

  6. Staffs (blunt, low damage, easy to use/light):
    a. Staffs gives an avoid bonus depending on your total encumbrance level (10 for none, 6 for light, 2 for medium, and none for heavy). Staffs also adds avoid when defending (the high avoid bonuses is to compensate for not being able to wield a shield). It's basically the weapon of choice for an agile, evasive type unit that the game seems to lack, and fills a necessary role for Axes to naturally counter (like Spears to counter Swords/Daggers). It's light weight, and gains bonuses for not wearing a lot of heavy armor, thus you don't need all those strength traits and allowing you to put your traits slot to other uses... but has a low base damage in return. It's mainly good for weak specialized or support units who isn't really meant to do tons of damage (like scouts, or perhaps... healers).
    b. Staffs get 1 counter attacks per round, and staffs counter can't be negated (due to the length of the staff). This is meant mainly to keep spear users honest about their armor selection.
    c. Add a couple of new staffs to fill out the mid & end game. Maybe a magical staff that allows the use of burning hands, and one that allows the unit to heal... (okay, I'm going too far into the monk thing now.)
    d. Staff skills: Improve blunt damage, improve evasion.

  7. Bows (piercing, low damage, hard to use/heavy):
    a. Bows now has a very small armor penetration (10-20%) to make it useful late game against armored opponents.
    b. Bows get an accuracy bonus (5-10), archers are suppose to be good at hitting stuff after all. This is primarily to counter staff wielders' dodging like the slight armor penetration is to def.
    b. Tarth bows are lighter, and does a bit more damage and more penetration. They should also get 2 magical bows that does extra poison damage and inflicts poison ailments. One for each tier of magic weapon research.
    c. Bow skills: Improve piercing damage, improve accuracy.

  8. Rods (formerly magical staffs, elemental, low damage, hard to use/heavy):
    a. Rods are now one handed, magical weapons. You can now wield a shield along with a rod (although you might not WANT to due to encumbrance penalties). Make the early rods cost a bit less crystals.
    b. Added: Foci (Focuses?)... crystals/books/bracelets/or whatever else you come up with that is held in the offhand (a type of shield? It should weigh quite a bit, maybe 10-20? Again, a reflection of it's hard to use nature... because you have to focus your power through it). Foci adds a percentage bonus to certain elemental damage (IE: a Frost Focus would add 50% Ice damage). So while the rods themselves don't do a lot of damage, if you equip a Foci of the matching element, you'd be able to do some serious elemental damage in exchange for being a lot slower (due to encumbrance of both rod and foci). Do you want faster magi, or stronger ones? Do note that while this is primarily a magi' offhand, you could use it with one handed elemental weapon and bring out the fury with your melee units as well (Lightning Foci + Lightning Hammer... aw yeah... I'm officially dubbing it the "Thor build".).
    c. All faction should get all 4 types of elemental rods (not just fire and ice, but lightning and poison as well)... unless a certain faction don't like magic for some reason. All faction should also get all 4 types of elemental cloaks and rings to counter these.
    d. Pariden's rods should just weight less, and does a bit more damage (instead of being the only one to do lightning and no one can resist). They should also cost a bit less to allow them to field more of them earlier as well.
    e. Rod skills: Improve elemental damage, reduce weapon weight.

As you can see, all the weapon types are fleshed out. Swords are tanks, who excels in defending and counters. Spears like to poke from relative safety. Daggers are fast, but unpredictable and dangerous. Maces likes to break your shiny armors. Staffs are nimble and frustrates you. Axes quickly puts a stop to that. Bows are a bit of everything. Rods can be what they want... until someone counters them useless. All of them feels unique and different, and yet seems viable under certain builds (thanks mainly to pulling initiative out of the picture) and gives you plenty of things to make factions feel different (heck, if each faction focus on 1 type of weapon, you'd have 8 right there). You'd also have to change how weapons are selected on the unit design screen to make upgrading them make a bit more sense (no more upgrading staff into mauls or dagger into axe then into sword), but that should be done regardless.

To be honest, I'm was planning to mod a lot of this in as a sort of "Weapon and Armor balancing mod" if we ever get to a stable version, but I thought that I'd just share the idea now, and perhaps some of the better concepts might get adopted (would certainly be nice if the maces and dagger changes go through at least, even better if the encumbrance system changes), or if nothing else, at least get some feedback on what people think about it.

So, what do you guys think? Too far fetched?

Locked Post 34 Replies +8
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 15, 2012 6:24:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like your ideas.   I think they would add a lot to the game.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 15, 2012 6:47:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I like it too, especially the dagger one (great!) and the initiative malus linked to encumbrance only (i like the -1 per 10%)

 

 

the only thing maybe is the difference in the difficult with a sword and an axe... in reality is a lot easier to wield an axe than a sword.

and was the axe in middle age that destroyed armor and the mace more for ignore it. (with a mace I can broke you an arm, even if your enemy wore a plate mail, and with an axe you can cut a chain mail with ease and destroy it in the process)

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 15, 2012 8:00:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah, I'm very taken with these changes (and find CLUNK very funny for some reason). Like Brago, I think the twin dagger setup is particularly good.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 15, 2012 7:07:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Thumbs up, the game needs something like this.

I'm having  a look at the xml to compare some numbers - i just discovered xml to word conversion (yay)

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 15, 2012 9:02:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm not exactly sold on your identities for weapons, but the encumbrance being the only thing that impacts initiative outside of particular spells or weapons looks fantastic.

 

I also think your assessment of the weapon's current weaknesses is pretty honest and straightforward.

 

In terms of weapon identities I think something more to the tune of:

 

Maces: Improved minimum damage (great idea!), knockdown on crit. Legitimate 1H and 2H varieties with 2H varieties carrying Init penalties while doing 1.5x damage.

Axes: Highest damage output overall, 50% damage on backswing hit. Legitimate 1H and 2H varieties with 2H varieties carrying Init penalties and doing full damage on backswing.

Swords: Counter Attack, lightweight, fair damage, with the average sword clocking in at ~75% of a mace at the same level.

Daggers: Counter Attack, Maul-like effect (its fast, but doesn't make you "faster"), comes in at about 40% Mace damage.

Spears: About good as is.

Staves: Counter Attack, Evade bonus, Backswing (two ends, right?). Comes in at about 75% of a spear of the same level.

Rods (Magical Staves): Evade bonus, elemental damage at range.

Bows: About good as is, with better bows ignoring armor (assuming init modifier being traded out for encumbrance)

 

Otherwise, I like the weapon-specific traits, and all encumbrance ideas.

 

Great Post!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 16, 2012 10:16:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I find these ideas very refreshing and I think a good implementation of this willl definetely make the game slightly better.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 16, 2012 12:47:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks for the kind comments, let me address a couple of the posts...

 

Quoting Brago,

I like it too, especially the dagger one (great!) and the initiative malus linked to encumbrance only (i like the -1 per 10%)


Believe me, I know what you mean regarding the -1 init per 10%. It's simple, easy, and make sense, so it's good to new players. That was how I originally conceptualized the system. However, there's also something to be said for having bigger steps as well, and that, in a word, is: satisfaction. The problem with -1 init is that it just doesn't do enough to make you consider an alternative. If you had a design that went over a threshold, and got penalized -1 init, would you really change it? I don't think I would. I then considered a -2 init every 20% solution, but that has it's own problems, mainly that it makes certain traits and items interchangeable (IE: horse vs wrag, strength vs fast). Often times, you won't really care which one you have because they essentially do the same thing, give or take away 2 init. That's why I finally went with 3 init steps. If you went over a threshold and lost 3 init, suddenly you might want to reconsider some items or traits... and it also makes horses and strength better in some cases (if you have high weight and need to beat a threshold), while also making wrag and fast better in others (say if you can keep your weight very low, or when horses/strength doesn't do enough). The whole concept was to force you to make decisions with your units, and I wanted to have those decisions give more impact to reward good design rather than just a tiny little boost or penalty. I hope that makes sense.


 

Quoting Brago,

the only thing maybe is the difference in the difficult with a sword and an axe... in reality is a lot easier to wield an axe than a sword.

and was the axe in middle age that destroyed armor and the mace more for ignore it. (with a mace I can broke you an arm, even if your enemy wore a plate mail, and with an axe you can cut a chain mail with ease and destroy it in the process)

As for the difficulty to wield, I realize all too well the moment I suggested it, that there would be people who say such and such weapon shouldn't be hard to wield, that's why I said that it depended on the style of combat. Let's face it, there are dozen (if not hundred) of sword styles, some simple and others very not so... and there's no way we can properly replicated that in a game, nor would we want to. Rather, what I'm trying to say, is that the sword style in question (in the game), of blocking and swinging your sword in retaliation takes less effort than swinging a giant axe, stopping it if it misses (probably the most straining part), and doing a backswing. Or, you could just say that the axe is really heavy. It doesn't really matter all that much in the end, it was just an attempt to toss some sense into balancing issues.

Which is the primary matter at hand. The axe in my suggestion is the only weapon with "high" damage, and it also has a backswing to give it a second chance to hit, thus, it is required to have a downside... which in this case, is weight. It's fine that it is meant to do damage, but I don't want armies of fast moving axeman equipped with the best armor demolishing everyone. If you want axeman in armor, that's okay, but they won't be fast. If you want fast axeman, that's okay too, but they won't have heavy armor. The swordsmen is the reverse, they are constantly taking hits in order to counter and do their best damage. So they need less weight so that they can equip shields and armor to take those hit.

As for your point regarding mace/axes and armor breaking, I can't really comment on that, as, frankly, I'm no expert. The reason I had mace breaking armor instead of axes is rather simple, Axes already had the backswing mechanic, and I wanted maces to have their own thing. Furthermore, breaking armor and doing high damage doesn't make good balance (if you're already doing a lot of damage, you don't really need to be breaking armors). Also, I went with armor breaking because I felt like there was a missing endurance or swarmer type of weapon. A weapon where it might not be very dangerous at first glance, if used by many or in prolonged fights, becomes powerful/dangerous. This essentially becomes the perfect weapon for militia units (or perhaps even darklings/wildlings/mites) and those already starts with clubs. They might not seem particularly dangerous, but they'll weaken you enough that the real troops will cut you down.

 

Quoting Malsqueek,
I'm not exactly sold on your identities for weapons, but the encumbrance being the only thing that impacts initiative outside of particular spells or weapons looks fantastic.

 

I also think your assessment of the weapon's current weaknesses is pretty honest and straightforward.

 

In terms of weapon identities I think something more to the tune of:

 

Maces: Improved minimum damage (great idea!), knockdown on crit. Legitimate 1H and 2H varieties with 2H varieties carrying Init penalties while doing 1.5x damage.

Axes: Highest damage output overall, 50% damage on backswing hit. Legitimate 1H and 2H varieties with 2H varieties carrying Init penalties and doing full damage on backswing.

Swords: Counter Attack, lightweight, fair damage, with the average sword clocking in at ~75% of a mace at the same level.

Daggers: Counter Attack, Maul-like effect (its fast, but doesn't make you "faster"), comes in at about 40% Mace damage.

Spears: About good as is.

Staves: Counter Attack, Evade bonus, Backswing (two ends, right?). Comes in at about 75% of a spear of the same level.

Rods (Magical Staves): Evade bonus, elemental damage at range.

Bows: About good as is, with better bows ignoring armor (assuming init modifier being traded out for encumbrance)

 

Otherwise, I like the weapon-specific traits, and all encumbrance ideas.

 

Great Post!

I'm not exactly deadset on these terms for the weapons, as long as they make the weapons unique, so discussion on how to improve/change them is welcomed. Having said that, I honestly don't believe having maces knockdown on crit and having daggers maul is a good idea. Let me try to explain...

The prone effect (knockdown) is very powerful early game (can practically completely disables a unit), but becomes virtually worthless mid to late game due to mounts (immune to knockdown). Plus, you'd have to give maces fairly high crit percentages to make the effect even noticeable... and to be frank, I just don't like the idea of giving high crit to medium damage weapons because it becomes essentially instant death attacks (and I don't see maces being low damage weapons?). Even if you don't give maces very high crit values, it would only make the player feel like they got RNGed by the game and reload if it ever happened to them. Quick saving and reloading just isn't very fun, if you don't believe me, look up Battle for Wesnoth, or as I like to call it, RNG for Wesnoth.

Crit on daggers, which has low damage is okay precisely because there, the crit isn't an instant win. It's simply a spike damage that balances out the weak normal hits. But to give maul AND crit... that's definitely a no go. I'm not sure if you've every played an assassin sovereign/hero and gotten a berserk sword, but let me assure you, it is a completely OP combination. I could solo everything without a problem, dragons, wildland bosses, you name it. In one particular instance, I ran up to Vetrar, and critted him 3 times out of 5 hit... instant KO before he could even move. Maul is particularly bothersome because there are many ways to raise accuracy (training yard, discipline, precision, champion helm), yet not many high dodge enemies (which is why I suggested to have staff the way they were), so it's rather easy to get 5-6 hits in... maybe way more, but things are usually dead by then. I want daggers to be useful, but not that overpowering, so I went with double attack instead, and what better way to explain double attack than say you're wielding two daggers (it would also make way for more modding options regarding dual wielding). Also, I had some rather specific daggers in mind when I suggested it, aside from the basic poison dagger, I was thinking of special magical daggers that inflict status or ailments based on spell mastery/resists... like withering daggers (reduce opponent's attack unless they resist) or ones that slows, stuns etc. This essentially makes spell mastery somewhat important for units (a first) using those daggers while also making spell resistance somewhat more valuable as a whole.

 

I didn't really go into a lot of details because the post had gotten really long, and I feared people would have doze off trying to read the thing... but ideally, I foresee each faction getting an elemental affinity (affects their innate resistance and rod of choice), and a weapon affinity. A little along the line of this:

Altar: Specializes in fire and swords. Their fire rods are stronger than the other elemental rods and their swords are better, with better fire sword alternative to Boreal Blades.

Gilden: Specializes in ice and maces. Their ice rods are stronger, and their maces are better, with better ice hammers to replace lightning hammer.

Tarth: Specializes in poison and bows. Their poison rods are stronger, and their bows are better, with poison bows to replace Ignis Bow.

Pariden: Specializes in lightning and rods. They have strong fire, ice, and poison rods (the equivalence of the other faction's preferred rod), but their lightning rods are by far the best in game.

 

Yithril: Specializes in ice and axes. They have stronger ice rods, and their axes are better, with better ice axe alternative to fire ones.

Krax: Specializes in lightning and spears. They have stronger lightning rods, and one handed spears, being able to use lighting focii with lightning spear is their magical weapon affinity (other factions can't because their spears are two-handed).

Resoln: Specializes in poison and daggers. They have stronger poison rods, and stronger, special daggers (poisoning, withering, draining). Their blood should increase spell mastery, which helps their dagger units inflict ailments more often. This will also strengthen Ceresa without needing to give her over-the-top powerful spells.

Magnar: Specializes in fire and staffs. They have stronger fire rods and special staffs that lets them use various fire abilities (like burning hands). I basically see them as a faction of occult lizardman priests who uses slaves to do menial labor.

 

Basically 8 factions, eight weapons. Then 4 elements, so each empire faction gets a different element and each kingdom faction gets a different element. That way each faction plays different and needs to be countered differently. If you're in a war with Altar, you might want to field fire resistant spearmans to counter their best troops, but would then have to switch to different weapon/resist to face another faction... even if it's just Magnar (fire resistance still works, but your spears are now being countered, and they dodge so your armor piercing isn't so great). I hope that make some more sense.

 

Edit: I just noticed that this is in the wrong section (because I always read the primary forum to see everything). My apologies. Could a kind mod please move this to the beta section? Many thanks.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 16, 2012 1:04:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The Original Poster can always change the forum a thread is in.  Just edit the OP, and change the "Category".

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 16, 2012 1:14:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wow, I feel like a noob to these forums... and I've been here 6 years. *sigh*

Thanks.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 16, 2012 1:22:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I only found out because I was following a thread where this ability was mentioned.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 16, 2012 7:23:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kalin,


Basically 8 factions, eight weapons.

 

Only it is not 8 factions. As of now there are only 8 ready made chars to play with but if you try to make one yourself you will see there are the umber/urxen still available and the trader kingdom with the better horses (forgot the name), so your system would have to take these into account to. To that end I would move to assosciate Gilden not with Ice but with earth (makes more sense to me as a smithing and mining people) und give their magical weapons some kind of earth associated property (like with tremor or shockwave spells).

 

That said I really like your suggestions and am strongly in favour of seperating weapon class and intiative modifier. My caster heroes are always running around with their daggers or fast swords and I strongly suspect that I am not alone with that, also I just played a gilden game and My hammer armed infantry nearly put me to sleep.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 17, 2012 2:52:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm all too aware of Capitar and Umber (considering I've been playing EWOM since beta), but right now there's only 8 in plan. Perhaps those factions will get added back in an expansion, maybe they'll have their own weapon focus when that happens, or maybe they'll do something else. But I'm not one of those who are super concerned about that at the moment.

As for Gilden, I also think they would fit Earth more thematically, but... there's no earth "element" in the game. There's only Fire, Ice, Lightning, and Poison. Try to think of it as being experienced/used to cold from being on snowy mountain tops?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 17, 2012 3:37:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I very much like everything you outlined in your plan, Kalin, except for aligning factions with elemental damage.  I think for a world that's supposed to have exceedingly rare/difficult access to magic, we have enough of it floating around, and simply having a more magically inclined race (like Pariden and Reoln) is good enough.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 17, 2012 5:12:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kalin,
I'm all too aware of Capitar and Umber (considering I've been playing EWOM since beta), but right now there's only 8 in plan.

 

Well I see that there is no monarch for them pre made but their races exist as options when creating a custom sovereign, so in my opinion they have to be considered. And while there is no earth elemental damage, you do not need it. Just handle physical as elemental damage with lvl scaling benefits. I mean what could be more the essence of rock and stone than supernaturally sharp steel blades or hammers that seem to contain the essence of weight itself when they hit something. (earthshattering hit comes to mind). Let me give you an example: Shattering hammer: These heavy warhammers are said to contain splinters of an Eartshard to power their enchantments. It is said that they can break stone walls and iron gates with a single hit. In the hands of an experienced wielder they do not have much difficulty with armor either. (ignores 10% armor per lvl)

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 17, 2012 7:18:12 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Emperorjarin,
I very much like everything you outlined in your plan, Kalin, except for aligning factions with elemental damage.  I think for a world that's supposed to have exceedingly rare/difficult access to magic, we have enough of it floating around, and simply having a more magically inclined race (like Pariden and Reoln) is good enough.

It's not like I'm making them very different from what they are currently. For example, right now, altar already gets fire resist through their special armors, and they can use fire rods and ice rods, and ice swords. All I'm saying is to make the faction a bit more consistent so that their fire rods are a bit better, and they have fire swords instead of ice ones and maybe give their other armors fire resist too. If you do this with all the factions, what you end up is factions that have certain elemental affinity, but not necessarily magically inclined (I hope that makes sense). Only Pariden would have really powerful rods and Resoln would have higher spell mastery (to inflict ailments). The others are just slight variation on current mechanics to fit a theme, and would also make for some interesting gameplay as a result thanks for certain natural enemy/natural resistant relationship regarding certain factions.

 

Quoting Schob13,

Well I see that there is no monarch for them pre made but their races exist as options when creating a custom sovereign, so in my opinion they have to be considered. And while there is no earth elemental damage, you do not need it. Just handle physical as elemental damage with lvl scaling benefits. I mean what could be more the essence of rock and stone than supernaturally sharp steel blades or hammers that seem to contain the essence of weight itself when they hit something. (earthshattering hit comes to mind). Let me give you an example: Shattering hammer: These heavy warhammers are said to contain splinters of an Eartshard to power their enchantments. It is said that they can break stone walls and iron gates with a single hit. In the hands of an experienced wielder they do not have much difficulty with armor either. (ignores 10% armor per lvl)

The faction remaining is more of a nod to those who likes them and allows them to be used through mods/custom factions... it's the same with the dynasty system, they turned it off, but it's not like you're going to expect game mechanics designed for that, do you? I certainly don't. That isn't to say that Umber can't use altar swords (or whatever else you think they should use, they'd just need to steal altar's faction trait), but expecting new weapon types for faction that don't official exist? Come on, now.

As for earth being physical, that's sort of how the game handles it right now. However that doesn't really help when you're talking about elemental damage and resistances. The whole point of elemental damage in the first place is to bypass armor completely and being resistible only with appropriate cloaks/rings... it's to counter heavy armor knights and forces those knights to choose their elemental resists. If you make your element physical, suddenly you have to deal with armor again and the knights suddenly don't care about your element at all... that kind of defeat the entire purpose of the system.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 17, 2012 11:34:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kalin,
If you make your element physical, suddenly you have to deal with armor again and the knights suddenly don't care about your element at all... that kind of defeat the entire purpose of the system.

 

That is why I proposed an armor reducing leveling effect. The magical weapons also have only partial alemental dmg so only a part of their dmg (excepting wands now) bypasses armor. My model for "magical earth weapons" would introduce that armor reduction directly as weapon trait.

 

As for the two other factions, it seems a shame to leave them out especially since i do not see that much difference between the factions graphically so the only obvious difference between the empire factions seems to be the different bloods and race specific units. But perhaps those differences will increase in future beta iterations.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 17, 2012 12:51:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

And how exactly do you expect anyone to counter that weapon once its user get past say... 10 levels?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 17, 2012 6:09:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

In some ways I agree with the OP...  but on the other hand, who can deny that a fencing foil would have a far faster attack than a war hammer.   I have to agree that staffs are poorly implemented.  A staff should be a very fast weapon (+10 initiative) and the best defensive bonus in the game.  But they should be very weak against a well armored opponent - especially plate.  Perhaps staffs need to have high damage (~15 attack) but have a modifier opposite of Armor Piercing that reduces damage by a percentage of the opponent's defensive rating.

But then I wish Dodge/Agility had not been lumped in with armor defense.  The two are very different.   Likewise, I feel equally that Attack rating should not be lumped in with attack damage.  Simplification isn't always a good thing.  Sometimes it can be boring.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 18, 2012 8:45:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

Quoting Kalin,
And how exactly do you expect anyone to counter that weapon once its user get past say... 10 levels?

I do not really, ideally it would be a system of diminishing returns in weapon effectivness/armor reduction. So that some armor say 40% always remains, but I could also see them as close combat only weapons so the only counter really required is ranged combat. It should be a high end weapon only in that case. But I see your point in needing to be counterable. Even if it is as far as single player only is concerned mostly a cosmetic feature at the moment. I do not believe the AI ywould counter your poison or lighning attacks effictively either.

Basically what I had in mind was to combine the advantages of the spear grp with a warhammer so that a levelable weapon type exists that can make do without the elemental effect and does not leave the balancing alltogether. While I do agree it could be done with ice magic, i do find it more fitting to use a weapon without any (obvious) enchantment for THE smith race in the game.

 

Quoting Aerion Istari,
But then I wish Dodge/Agility had not been lumped in with armor defense. The two are very different. Likewise, I feel equally that Attack rating should not be lumped in with attack damage. Simplification isn't always a good thing. Sometimes it can be boring.

 

There are seperate dodge and acurracy stats. so dexterity is not being lumped in with armor and chance to huit is different than weapon dmg.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 18, 2012 10:25:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Actually, I don't see ice and smiths to be contradictory. To be perfectly honest when I was looking at elemental affinities, Gilden going with Ice was almost as easy as Tarth (with their forest and swamps) going with poison, I didn't even think twice about it. There are certainly arguments for them to use either fire or earth, but it's really not all that unnatural for them to be using ice either. There are plenty of fantasy games where the "smith" race (often Dwarves), uses "runic" magic that consists of ice spells. If you think about it, being resistant to cold and using ice weapon isn't all that unnatural for a race from the mountains (snowy mountain tops). It really just depends on how you picture the faction and where they come from. If you say Gilden comes from the northern tundra... suddenly ice makes perfect sense, right?

Keep in mind that I'm not turning them into some magic faction all of a sudden (as I explained in a post earlier), but rather just to shift them more towards an ice theme than they are currently. The change basically consists of better ice rods, 2 ice hammers instead of the lightning hammer, and some ice resists (whether from armors or trait). Also, don't forget that maces (and hammers) already break armors on successful hits in my suggestion.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 18, 2012 12:40:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kalin,
The change basically consists of better ice rods, 2 ice hammers instead of the lightning hammer, and some ice resists (whether from armors or trait).

 

From a balancing standpoint what you say makes perfect sense I just feel that sides should play innately differently. So I would not even give everyone the better wands or rods. It just does not make much sense to me to give them stuff that feels "magical" with their ironeer blood in place. But if I deny a faction acess to a certain improved weapon type its other weapons should feel stronger. If I see gilden as a very unmagical people (lacking some of the more obvious spellcasters of other races) and as a kind of kingdom counterpart to the empire of Ythril although more focused on defense then on offense, so for me they need really special armors and maybe one or two close quartes combat weapons. But I could do perfectly well without the staves.

 

But as I (hopefully) stated above your suggestions make a lot of sense to me and the simplification of the initiative system would help make feel choices more important just as you said (and also hammers not quite so worthless).

 

P.S.: What I really do not like is that dual wield is beginning to crop up in every fantasy game. While I can understand it for heroes (although most dual wield systems do not make much sense to me in general) I really do not like the thought of dual wielding troops. But I have long given up the fight against that one .

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 19, 2012 9:47:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Really some incredible ideas.

 

These sorts of things would really improve the game and make it feel more strategic.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 20, 2012 3:48:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,
So here's my proposal for the encumbrance system: Instead of a 2 tier penalty like it is now (where you get -2 initiative above 40 and -4 above 80), extend it to a 3 tier penalty system. In this new system, you get -3 initiative when above 30 encumbrance (light), -6 when above 60 (medium), and -9 when above 90 encumbrance (heavy). To compensate for the harsher penalties, add 10 capacity for everyone. The idea is to design your unit with either minimal (30 or under) or light (60 or under) encumbrance, and a max of medium encumbrance (90 or under). This has the effect of reducing the overall strength of high end armor (unless you're willing to sacrifice a lot of initiative for it) and increasing the significance of traits like strength & muscle, Yithril's blood and items that raises carrying capacity. (You could even go further and just make it every 10% is -1 initiative, but you don't have to.)

After the encumbrance system is in play, rework the weapons' weight values to take advantage of it (this will be how you handle initiative bonus & penalties). Heck, don't even think of it as the weapon's weight (light, heavy, etc) anymore, but rather as an overall encumbrance value that reflects both the weight and the difficulty in wielding it (like a combat style associated with the weapon which needs a certain amount of encumbrance as well). With that, make Swords and Staffs easy to use (0-10 encumbrance), Daggers and Maces are average in difficulty (10-20 encumbrance), Spears, Axes, and Range weapons are difficult (20-30 encumbrance). I'll explain why I chose these values a bit later in their own section. This way, you could still have a fairly fast archer (magi/spears/axes users), but they would need strength, muscle, and other carrying capacity bonuses, and even then, they probably still wouldn't be able to wear heavy armor (the weapon weighs so much more), while naturally defensive weapons, like swords and staffs, lets you wear a lot more armor with fewer penalties (although staffs has its own mechanic). Put all of these decisions into the player's hands, and I think you'll end up making the unit design more important and interesting part of the game. It'll also make balancing weapons a lot easier (you just tweak attack and weight values).

That is a great suggestion. Stardock has already removed the initiative penalties of armors and i think they should remove the initiative penalties of weapons, too.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 20, 2012 7:39:22 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Excellent suggestions. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
May 20, 2012 2:57:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I really like the OP's ideas.  Especially the dagger and Mace suggestions.

Mozo

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108433  walnut3   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000593   Page Render Time: