[Balance] [0.952] Unit designer Traits.

By on September 1, 2012 2:00:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Kongdej

Join Date 01/2012
+58

--== Wall of Text Warning ==--

Please do take your time to read though, since I took my own damn time writing the thing up

Wanted to take some time out discussing the current traits available to trained units, I will not look at juggernaut traits, golem traits (if any), henchmen traits, spider traits or whatever (since the list is lost to me), sadly my opponent in my current game surrendered before I could get a hold of "Siege Weapons" and "Weapons of War" technologies, so I might miss a couple of high-end traits. (Again, I don't know cause the UI doesn't tell me).
Feel free to post your own ideas to new traits, tell me I'm an idiot, or telling about what traits you really like, and use a lot, which traits you never use, etc.

Lets start by taking a look at the overall set-up (endgame)

First off, I get a little sad to see two categories almost completely void of choices, they use a complete category for the "Scout" trait, and another category for the "Weakness" trait... would love to have 1, 2 or even 3 other choices here.

now to each separate trait:

Army:
"Scout: cost: 8 - No movement penalties in forests, swamps or hills, +1 sight, -10 weight capacity"
 - this slightly underwhelming for paying for a trait, have been up and talked about once in a while, the most detrimental to this trait is it will not help your foot soldiers follow your mounted soldiers through the forest, but if put into an army, will just be a waste of time.
 - There have been a lot of good idea to boost this trait, I think, either remove the penalty (can divide up the movement boost and the sight bonus if needed), another idea could be give the trait another use, heard some talk about letting scouts build outposts, or let scouts see the intentions of monsters, another use could let scouts see the time left before monster lairs grow to a bigger and badder size.

Defensive:
"Acrobat: Cost: 8 - +1 dodge per level"
"Balance: Cost: 8 - +10 dodge, -1 HP"
 - This is probably the one defensive trait I use the most, 10 dodge seems rather powerfull, and 1 hp is nothing compared to the hp gained from levelling.
"Constitution: Cost: 12 - +3 HP"
 - I almost never use this trait, does not even give the benefit of 1 level to the unit, and units usually have tons of HP, and without defense or dodge they take tons of damage.
 - I think it should grant more HP, or cost less to add, another suggestion is to let it add +1 hp per level, to assist races with low HP per level (Resoln, and Pariden)
"Defender: Cost: 8 - +5 Defense when Defending"
 - I have never used this, its such a high cost compared to just equipping a wooden shield, and +5 defense while defending hardly means anything, I usually never defend and would rather pick charge over this trait.
 - Supreme shogun actually uses this, so might be im slightly wrong, I know I would not use it as it is, but for some people it can be gold coins
"Ironskin: Cost: 18 - +3 Defense"
  - This is an ok trait, I usually pick dodge traits over this, due to this trait being very expensive, almost prohibitively expensive, also compared to having loads of defense already from leather armour.
"Lithe: Cost: 8 - +10 dodge, -10 weight capacity"
 - This is properly fairly balance, but I hate losing weight capacity, especially 33% of my original weight capacity, meaby its made to go along with weight capacity boosters.
"Spell Resistance: Cost: 8 - +20 spell resistance"
 - I have tried to use this a few times, but despite my effort, never seen my troops resist, due to champions getting tons of spell mastery through the high levels they achieve throughout the game, meaby it should be +15 spell resist, and +1 spell resist per level, or just +25/+30 spell resist.
 - Meaby I will find it more useful when trained units are more important during early-game, and the world becomes more magical...
"Stealthy: Cost: 8 - Monsters less likely to attack"
 - This seems decent, but I would really like a proper description, is this in combat, is this on a strategic level, HOW less likely are they to attack, and shouldn't this trait be fitted up with the scout trait?
 - Yes I know how it works, but using the eyes of a new player, it seems very vague.

Weakness:
"Weak: Cost: -12 - -1 attack -15 weight capacity"
 - This is ok, but I ever only use it on slave scouts, or for Magnars slaves to get production value to go to very low status, I think this weakness needs a focus, what is it really supposed to do.
 - This trait doesn't seem to lower cost enough for me to use it in any way other than cheesing slaves.

Aggressive:
"Bloodthirsty: Cost: 24 - +25% attack against damaged units"
 - This is a really powerful trait since it is one of the few traits that scale with all the other attack bonuses, and all it requires is for you to hit the enemy for 1 damage first.
 - Meaby its only really powerful due to attack bonuses that hits every enemy are so scarce.
"Brute: Cost: 16 - +3 attack against opponents with a lower level"
 - I never use this trait, I always consider trained units expendable and ready to die at a whim, so never expect them to be higher level than my opponent, meaby I am silly, meaby its slightly too expensive, meaby its just right.
"Charge: Cost: 24 - +3 moves and +3 initiative (attack) on the first turn of combat"
 - Probably one of the most underestimated traits by the AI, this traits bonus to moves and attack really puts the fight into the enemy's half of the map, and gives a nice burst of damage to remove some of the enemy's units, so you in turn will receive less damage, that said it is rather expensive, but fully equipped troops cannot really feel a +24 cost though.
"Discipline: Cost: 8 - +1 accuracy and spell resistance per level"
 - This is one of the traits I never use, it gives a minimal bonus compared to either "Precision" (+10 accuracy) or "Spell resistance" (+20 spell resistance).
 - I think this trait should be available from the start of the game, and meaby made slightly less expensive, or give more spell resistance (+2 per level)
"Enmity: Cost: 20 - +25% attack vs units of the opposite race (fallen vs men)"
 - this is a terribly vague trait, mostly because the only race of "Men" is actually Altar, and there is no units that states "Race: Fallen". this trait should be written in a way better represented way, or something should be changed so I actually know what I am gaining a bonus against.
 - Meaby this trait should instead just give a bonus against opposite factions (Empire vs Kingdom), that description and effect would make much more sense and would be way easier to understand.
"Fast: Cost: 12 - +2 initiative"
 - one of the more powerful traits, on a unit with no other changes to passive initiative this trait gives 10% more turns, which is also 10% more damage, this trait comes into its own because some weapons are so devastating on your initiative that a +2 can mean as much as +18% more turns, which is also 18% faster movement in combat.
"Finesse: Cost: 8 - +3 attack vs opponents with a lower initiative"
 - My trained units early game usually have low initiative although if this trait is working I can see why one would pick it, potentially powerful, potentially a waste... so its properly spot on.
"Fury: Cost: 8 - +1 attack -1 HP"
 - another one of my favourite traits, early on +1 attack is a lot, and -1 hp is nothing at all, meaby this trait should have a -2 HP, or just bring the other traits up to the same usability as this one.
"Muscle: Cost: 18 - +15 weight capacity +1 attack"
 - This trait is my most frequently used along with armour, since encumbrance reduces initiative, this trait usually is both a fantastic initiative boost and a powerful damage boost, probably should be a little more balanced, I would say change it to +10 weight capacity instead, although that would give big complications making horses even more powerful, and plate armour even harder to use.
"Precision: Cost: 8 - +10 accuracy"
 - A really good starting trait, but I really never use this after I have built the building that gives the same benefit to units trained in the same city, so this is probably well balanced.
"Rage: Cost: 12 - +8 attack when under 25% HP"
 - This trait is really poor, and only worth it during the first few weapons of the tech tree's, since the damage does not scale. also there will be a lot less units in the group when it is below 25% HP to gain any use of the bonus damage, so I tend to prefer the other damage traits over this one, this might fit a little with Krax's passive defense bonus when dying.
 - I would probably lower the attack bonus, but increase the HP cap to make the trait easier to use, my units usually die pretty fast when around 25% HP and I would  expect to only get 1-2 attacks with "Rage" in effect, I would probably prefer +defense or dodge.
"Strength: Cost: 12 - +20 weight capacity"
 - The only problem I have with this trait is, it usually does the same as "Fast", but for armoured units, just being a second "Fast" trait makes it boring and bland, but that is my problem with encumbrance in general, more strength just makes you faster, that's all, and it feels really wrong.
 - Since this trait just gives you the ability to wear more armour, wouldn't it be fitting under the "Defensive" category?
"Underdog: Cost: 12 - +3 attack vs higher level units"
 - This is one of the traits where I really like the idea, make a bunch of troops at level one that can hit high level units really hard, the shame is it would pretty quickly be made useless on those units because the units with this trait would gain levels, and the target group would get smaller.
 - This is probably well balanced, and mostly a starter trait.
"Veteran: Cost: 18 - +1 level"
 - This trait have very little in common with Offence, the accuracy gained from one level is laughable, and I would only ever pick this because it is the good version of the trait "Constitution".

 

Trait Ideas would include:
Monster Slayer: +25% damage against non-human creatures.

Cavalry Hunter:  +50% more damage against mounted units.
 - ok thats a crappy name but my back is really hurting in this stage of the post.

Mage Hunter: +3 attack against units with magic abilities. (any ability to cast spells, possessing a spell-list, like most henchmen, quills, most heroes, etc.)

Ambusher: +3 initiative in the first 3 rounds of combat.

Would also love to see some new traits that gives units activated abilities, could include

Shield Mate: Requires Shield: Gives a unit within range 1 +5 defense for 2 turns, 5 turn cooldown.

Distraction: Target enemy takes a -10 penalty to accuracy for 1 turn, 3 turn cooldown.

Destabilize: Target enemy takes a -10 penalty to dodge for 2 turns, 5 turn cooldown.

Create opening: Target enemy takes a -5 penalty to defense for 2 turns, 5 turn cooldown.

Hope you guys like the suggestions.

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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September 1, 2012 3:24:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like you ideas for more traits and I think you are spot on about which traits are usable. Here are some possible trait ideas of my own...


Army

Trailblazer: +1 sight, +2 initiative to army on first turn.

Medics: Army heals 1 hp every turn.

Packmen: +5 to army weight capacity. Grants Carry ability which grants target +3 initiative for a turn.

 

Defensive

Warded: +6 defense, -10 weight capacity. 

Counter: +1 counterattack

Bulky: -5 accuracy and dodge +25 weight capacity.

Weary: +15 dodge versus ranged

 

Aggressive

Leap: Ignore ZoC

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September 1, 2012 4:09:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DsRaider,

Packmen: +5 to army weight capacity. Grants Carry ability which grants target +3 initiative for a turn.

Counter: +1 counterattack

Like your ideas, except I want to comment on these.

Packmen: This, in my head would seemingly be a must-have for large armies, I don't like the idea of the regular trained unit boosting the whole group, it smells of too powerful, might be interesting though.

Counter: I don't like that you are taking away the swords special ability in this trait, I would quickly use this on almost everyone of my characters and then I can happily ignore using swords since now they don't have anything special

Thanks though, fantastic ideas!. (And thanks for having patience to read the post, it really hurt my back sitting down writing it up).

Also: How about making "Leap" an active ability with a cooldown, so  you cant just ignore ZoC all the time, but once each 3 turns.

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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September 1, 2012 5:17:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@Kongdej


Re: Defender - I use defender a lot when making defensive type units.  Defence is king.  At least till they balance/ up attack ratings on weapons. 

Re: Enmity - actually according to the xml, kingdoms are races of men and empires are fallen.  (See CoreRaceConfigs.xml )  I already see it as kingdoms vs empires.  Maybe its not apparent to those not looking at the code.  Or could just be worded better.

Re: Suggestions, Good ideas! 

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September 1, 2012 5:27:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Supreme Shogun,
Re: Defender - I use defender a lot when making defensive type units.  Defence is king.  At least till they balance/ up attack ratings on weapons. 

Well I think its rubbish, but I edited a comment about this in the defender section to reflect this.

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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September 1, 2012 10:21:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kongdej,
Counter: I don't like that you are taking away the swords special ability in this trait, I would quickly use this on almost everyone of my characters and then I can happily ignore using swords since now they don't have anything special

Well it would be balanced by cost and the fact that you have to give up a slot you could be using for something else. Also you could still use it with swords because you would simply get 2 counterattacks, which would be cool in my opinion anyway.

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September 1, 2012 10:48:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Supreme Shogun,
Re: Enmity - actually according to the xml, kingdoms are races of men and empires are fallen. (See CoreRaceConfigs.xml ) I already see it as kingdoms vs empires. Maybe its not apparent to those not looking at the code. Or could just be worded better.

 

Not quite. According to a post by Frogboy back in the last Beta, the Krax are Human while Ironeers are Fallen.

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September 23, 2012 8:06:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Bump, I think the trait list is practically the same, but really wanted to see some of these traits be worth my time

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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