[0.915] Champion Traits Assessment: The Governor

By on May 29, 2012 9:55:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Malsqueek

Join Date 09/2009
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This post is a continuation of the Assessment found here: http://forums.elementalgame.com/425698

 

The current Champion setup is a great on in concept. We have five strong archetypes that we get to use to craft our heroes as we see fit; the strong Warrior, the skilled Assassin, the noble Defender, the wise Governor, and the powerful Mage. The issue I see is not with the framing of the system, but the implementation of the skills. Too many of them are in strange places or across specializations, which cause the identities of the archetypes to be watered down, and actually serves to make most of them less appealing in general. I feel it is a problem of cleaning up identities more than anything, and my overall assessment is being done with that in mind.

I begin with my assessment of:

The Governor.

This class of Champion really has the capacity to change the way that FE gets played. Able to hire great units which improve the city they are stationed in locally, but are mobile. There are phenomenal gameplay possibilities with the Governor, but ultimately unrealized as currently they are simply mobile production bonuses. I see the Governor as potentially one of two types of Champions, the “Master Builder” as currently supported, and the “Master Planner”.

 

Trait MinLevel Trait Bonus Gross Bonus
Path of the Governor 4 +1 Faction Prestige  
  Admin 1 5 -10% Improvement Cost -10% Improve Cost
  Admin 2 6 -10% Imp. Cost, -10% Train Time -20% Improve Cost, -10% Train
  Admin 3 7 -10% Imp. Cost, -10% Train Time, +10% Gold -30% Imp. Cost, -20% Train, +10% Gold
  Loremaster 1 5 +1 Research per Season +1 Research
  Loremaster 2 6 +2 Research per Season +3 Research
  Loremaster 3 7 +4 Research per Season +7 Research
  Merchant 1 5 +2 Gold per Season +2 Gold
  Merchant 2 6 +3 Gold per Season +5 Gold
  Merchant 3 7 +4 Gold per Season +9 Gold


Before discussing traits as they exist in game, it is pertinent to discuss what the Governor Champion is. They are a non-adventuring champion whose purpose is to improve the function and infrastructure of the Sovereign’s cities. Because of how, exactly, Champions are currently implemented, Governors are necessarily disadvantaged. Most of the reasons I am about to list have been discussed at some point, but for the sake of completeness, I am including here.

  • Champions must be out in the wild to gain experience, so when doing their job as Governors, they are not improving, and while improving they are not doing their job as governors.
  • Traits gained leading up to the Governor Path do not support the path, conceptually or actually. You could make an argument for Healer, but I would argue that is somewhat useful for just about any Champion.
  • Facilities which allow the player to circumvent the non-adventuring doldrums are underpowered and overpriced.
  • Champions left in cities are NOT out supporting armies, gathering treasure, recruiting other Champions, or securing territory, which is a VERY hefty opportunity cost even with single-city bonuses to production.
  • There is very little in game discussion of how exactly Faction Prestige works which makes the Path of the Governor's ability seem pretty meager and lackluster. We need to either see more how it works, or give these guys something more interesting as well.
  • Based upon observation in 0.914 and 0.915, a champion sitting in a city gaining a flat 1 xp per turn would level at about 50% to 60% the rate of an adventuring champion, reducing the overall return on their upkeep

 

The Good Stuff, which is also not-so-good:

  • All the abilities in the Governor tree are significant and useful. They are also very boring.
  • Loremaster and Merchant are abilities which are useful while adventuring, but the Governor Champion has no other abilities which support their adventuring, which dramatically limits their usefulness in combat settings.
  • Admin is great numerically, but could easily be split up into several more intriguing trees to grant better specialization and theme.

Recommendations:

Governors need a significant amount of help. With not knowing exactly what types of changes are coming with Beta 4 and the re-imagining of Cities, it will be hard to elucidate specifics, but below are a list of general suggestions which would help

  • Loremaster and Merchant: Governors have no useful lead-up abilities in the General Traits tree, and these would fit right at home. There are enough useful things for other trees to focus on that these are in no way no-brainers unless you are expecting to use the character as a Governor.
  • Abilities which reduce the maintenance cost of a city by a set amount. Abilities like these would help struggling cities become more self-sufficient by offsetting losses until better gold producing buildings could be built.
  • Reduce the Cost of garrisoned troops. Allow for particularly vulnerable cities to be fortified when and where they need to.
  • Adds or Improves City Defenders
  • Dispels negative enchantments on a city 10% chance each turn.

 

As with the Defender, the Governor has a LOT of potential to be a true game-changing hero with a lot of exciting and interesting abilities. It just needs the compelling trait support and fewer disincentives to follow that path.

Finally, I think starting at level 15 each and every Path needs to start getting access to some pretty over-the-top abilities. The sky is the limit here, and I’m not going to take the time to really illustrate all of them, but if you can get a champion to Level 15, you deserve some crazy stuff for your effort.

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May 29, 2012 10:10:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One idea, since choosing Path of the Governor means you're not choosing an adventuring based path, it seems reasonable to give such champions continuous xp for remaining in a city.  Since it takes more xp to reach higher levels, traits like 1xp/20 population/turn seem reasonable, allowing the governor to grow with the city.

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May 29, 2012 10:20:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What about a trait that gives +X xp per unit trained ! buildings build while the governor is stationed in the city? Represents the actual work that the governor is doing for the city after all.

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May 29, 2012 10:31:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


The building based xp gainers are hopeless. The trick with governors is to maximise xp earned per turn adventuring. You line up some fights, send them along with a strong party and gain some levels. Or put them in a city which is either regularly attacked or has enemy troops/monsters walking past it. I'm a big fan of putting a governor in a newly conquered or built city, helping to get those initial buildings going to kickstart production. It's also an easy location to pick up some battles.

I don't really see how else it can work, you can't give major xp for a hero sitting home, there has to be risk. Those buildings should be improved, but only so much. I guess one could link xp to completing builds or something like that.

Traits that aren't directly related to the governor function are for keeping him alive in battle, or in the very early game helping out in a fight.

I would like to see more variety in the abilities, definitely, and loremaster and merchant scale very poorly as the game goes on (great early, especially merchant). You could easily have influence and/or unrest related abilities.

 

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May 29, 2012 11:55:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Agree with other posts...

Path of the Governor should be

Path of the Governor   +1 Faction Prestige; gains 1 xp/turn while stationed in city
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May 30, 2012 12:17:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree with Trojasmic about the 1XP/turn for Governors.

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May 30, 2012 12:31:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Droghar,

I don't really see how else it can work, you can't give major xp for a hero sitting home, there has to be risk. Those buildings should be improved, but only so much.

 

I disagree entirely about requiring risk.

 

The whole city building aspect of 4x games is about competing opportunities. Not about Risk. Does the opportunity cost of producing a research improving building outweigh the loss of the defending unit that you could have built instead. The Risk<->Reward aspect of the game is when and where you choose to engage in combat, as well as which quests you choose to engage in in which way. The Research and City Management parts of this game are about Opportunity Cost, and the Governor should represent that.

 

1 xp per turn is hardly "Major xp", and based upon my own observations works out to right around half what an actively adventuring champion gets (with normal monster density and a relatively aggressive expansion), in addition to whatever spoils of war the governor is not out generating.

 

In terms of your suggestion that Governors reduce Unrest, I think that is an amazing idea. They definitely should. Immediately.

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May 30, 2012 12:59:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


1XP per turn will end up lvling the governer much less than 50-60% of a out and about champ.  If I can rake in 250+ exp for one battle how is the governor going to keep up with that?  They'd have to go 250 turns without fighting or questing to lose that lead.....

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May 30, 2012 1:10:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Maybe Governors need 2XP/turn?  Or 10% of next level plus 1?

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May 30, 2012 2:22:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There should be a variable...possibly based on the city they are stationed at.  Yeah I know there is the city improvement, but I'm thinking governor specific.  IOW he gains levels based on the population of the city.  

There could be other factors but it should be fairly simple.  What I don't think is should be is in any shape or form a strict 1 or 2 bonus.  This makes them stale.  And while placing them in the largest city may level them the fastest, it might not be the city you want them in all the time.

+building speed, -costs would give them better bonuses in new cities.  But it would be there that they don't level...or maybe they do if instead of population he levels by growth.  If this were the case then a base 1 point/turn would make sense since you would still want him to level at 0 growth.

Whatever the mechanism is it would have to be carefully considered and maybe capped.  EG. if tied to gold, his leveling could get crazy.

Either way, I think the leveling should be city dependent.  It would be like the difference between a champion that goes after large groups of monsters and enemy armies vs. the one that primarily is escorting pioneers or scouting out low level quests/creatures.

 

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May 30, 2012 2:40:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

These are meant to be champion classes, not civil servants.. I see the governor champion as a retired former general, whose leadership skills, strategic thinking and reputation make him an effective politician. Just as is still common in countries where military life is prevalent, just as in most fantasy literature. The choice to use him in battle to become a better leader, or get out of him in a city what you can now, is a strategic choice the player has to make.

I think discussion on the abilities is great, they can be improved, but I’d hate to see a high level governor viable without leaving the city.

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May 30, 2012 3:45:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Droghar,
 

These are meant to be champion classes, not civil servants.. I see the governor champion as a retired former general, whose leadership skills, strategic thinking and reputation make him an effective politician. Just as is still common in countries where military life is prevalent, just as in most fantasy literature. The choice to use him in battle to become a better leader, or get out of him in a city what you can now, is a strategic choice the player has to make.

I think discussion on the abilities is great, they can be improved, but I’d hate to see a high level governor viable without leaving the city.

That's true.  In that case it could be an ability that doesn't unlock until after a certain level.

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May 30, 2012 6:13:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I NEVER use the governor path: in my last games I had a lot of problem finding champs and i will never sit them in a city doing nothing. (they ara a too rare resource to be wasted to govern a city, when you need generals)

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May 30, 2012 7:35:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

When the governer path is selected could a proxy/henchman be created? You can then

choose which city the unit is stationed in, and allows the champions abilities to be 

channeled through it.

 

This allows the champion to keep adventuring, and when he levels the effects are directed

through the proxy?

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May 30, 2012 7:38:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Brago,

I NEVER use the governor path: in my last games I had a lot of problem finding champs and i will never sit them in a city doing nothing. (they ara a too rare resource to be wasted to govern a city, when you need generals)

If you are in a position that you have gotten 4-5 cities with slow growth, then path of the govenor can be an ok choice for a non important hero. You dont have to put him in a city to get the +1 prestige.

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May 30, 2012 8:47:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting joasoze,
Quoting Brago, reply 12
I NEVER use the governor path: in my last games I had a lot of problem finding champs and i will never sit them in a city doing nothing. (they ara a too rare resource to be wasted to govern a city, when you need generals)

If you are in a position that you have gotten 4-5 cities with slow growth, then path of the govenor can be an ok choice for a non important hero. You dont have to put him in a city to get the +1 prestige.

 

Yes, but in my last game as Gilden, with Tarth and Kraxis as neighbors, I had only 2 champs+1 sov...no way for a path of governor champ (the second one recruited at level 5 with path of warrior already taken)

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May 30, 2012 10:26:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You won't need to give Path of the Governor more than 1 xp/turn while in a city.  There are other ways to get more.  First, there are the potential traits and they could even move the knowledge trait here.  Second, there are buildings.  They will fix the adventurer's guild uselessness in Beta 4.  Third, you can always sneak the governor out for a few quick battles for easy xp.  So simply adding 1 xp/turn while in a city will be a huge help for this archetype.  The rest of the traits that come after Path of the Governor could be more interesting, but that's another story. 

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May 30, 2012 11:16:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One idea: those with administration, have to cast administration on the strategic map (0 mana spell) to use their abilities.  This locks them into the city they are in, but allows them to gain XP per turn at a good rate.

 

Adventurer's Guild should be a world wonder, and stronger.

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May 30, 2012 11:51:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree with the concensus of the governor getting experience while in a city.

 

I also like the idea of having a city improvement of some kind that allows any stationed champion to gain experience.  Some sort of training ground.

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May 30, 2012 1:15:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I wish the trait trees were setup more like the following.  Some basic stuff followed by some really cool ones:

Builder I/II/III = +1 materials/+2 materials/+3 materials

Loremaster I/II/III = +1 research/+2 research/+4 research

Merchant I/II/III = +2 gold/+3 gold/+4 gold

Builder I + Loremaster I unlocks = Enchanter I/II/III = building troops in this city uses 25% less crystal / troops built in this city get one extra trait / +25% production from resource nodes and +1 mana per shard in this city

Builder I + Merchant I unlocks Administrator I/II/III = -25% improvement cost / -10% training cost, building troops in this city uses 50% less metal / +25% gold and +1 gold per shard in this city

Loremaster I + Merchant I unlocks Alchemist I/II/III = +/- 10% buying/selling equipment in this city / city enchantments cost no maintenance in this city  / +25% research and +1 research per shard in this city

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May 30, 2012 2:45:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Trojasmic,
You won't need to give Path of the Governor more than 1 xp/turn while in a city.  There are other ways to get more.  First, there are the potential traits and they could even move the knowledge trait here.  Second, there are buildings.  They will fix the adventurer's guild uselessness in Beta 4.  Third, you can always sneak the governor out for a few quick battles for easy xp.  So simply adding 1 xp/turn while in a city will be a huge help for this archetype.  The rest of the traits that come after Path of the Governor could be more interesting, but that's another story. 
my only problem with sending him out for a quick experience boost, doesn't really boost what he is good at.  He is a governor, not a soldier--why should he get better at administration by becoming a better soldier.  It just doesn't make sense game wise.

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May 30, 2012 5:46:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

In Some of my recent games I've been tempted to choose Path of the Governor so that I could get Merchant trait. When you have a lot of heroes their upkeep can kill your economy. Not so much when they are merchants.

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May 30, 2012 7:08:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,
Champions must be out in the wild to gain experience, so when doing their job as Governors, they are not improving, and while improving they are not doing their job as governors.

 

This is the point I have a problem with.  It is the reason I don't use Governors.  Combat-based heroes gain skills that help them at what they do best.  The idea of a hero type that has non-combat skills to offer seems to me sound, but then logically they should have a way to improve and gain new skills and skill levels in an alternative field than combat.  It's just not there.  And while you could theorize that an assassin levels up because he becomes at what he's doing, I'm afraid I find it difficult to square the improvements a governor receives with dealing death.

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May 30, 2012 7:22:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Kudos to the "The Champions" series, written by Malsqueek.

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May 30, 2012 11:45:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Droghar,
 

These are meant to be champion classes, not civil servants.. I see the governor champion as a retired former general, whose leadership skills, strategic thinking and reputation make him an effective politician. Just as is still common in countries where military life is prevalent, just as in most fantasy literature. The choice to use him in battle to become a better leader, or get out of him in a city what you can now, is a strategic choice the player has to make.

I think discussion on the abilities is great, they can be improved, but I’d hate to see a high level governor viable without leaving the city.

 

I thinka lot of issues could be solved by wiping the idea of "The Governor' path and adding in 'The Leader' path.

 

Then just add in abilities that boost your army if adventuring, or boost towns he is stationed in. +1XP/turn while in a city "leading" included,.

Strategic Thinker I/II/III Raises army init by +1/+2/+3.*THIS DOES NOT EFFECT THE HERO*    While stationed in a city the cities' building production gets a -5%/-10%/-15% cost bonus

Aura of Command I/II/III All army units within 3/5/7 spaces gain a 10/20/30 Accuracy bonus.*THIS DOES NOT EFFECT THE HERO*  While stationed in cities all unit production gets a -5%/-10%/-15% cost bonus.


See where I'm going with this? I'd like to see more dedicated 'leading hero' type then the current few sprinkling of "army" skills into the other paths such as the current shield wall trait. Let the "self-bonuses" stick to the other paths and let's have a real "general/administrator" type of path that while has a double use in your cities or on the field....does not increase his own fighting abilities.

 

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May 31, 2012 11:34:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree that some sort of way for governors to gain experience without fighting could be quite useful, beyond what is offered now, which is the "hall of adventurers" and which is limited to one city per game.

In order to balance their city/empire building traits they could diminish the governor hero's ability to be an effective combatant, diminishing strength or accuracy, while (maybe) allowing him to gain also some of the combat buffs abilities (to be useful while defending cities). The loss of an active combating hero is a heavy loss at the beginning and mid-game which should be compensated with visible impact.

To add to the sense of progression some of their governor traits could start by only affecting the single city they're stationed at at lower levels, and only when they attain level 3 or more, could they become empire-wide effects.

One possible gameplay mechanics I see would be that players would choose the hero that has received bad illnesses from loosing battles and is therefore not as effective to combat anymore and then decide to turn him into a governor (granted he can earn Xp w/o fighting). Being able to do something positive with the heroes that get bad afflictions could reduce the temptation to reload when loosing battles, after all you loose a hero but you get buffs to a city and further ahead to your whole empire.

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