[Issue] Swarm mechanic

By on March 22, 2013 9:46:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

SBFMadDjinn

Join Date 10/2012
+5

Making a thread to pull the information out of the disparate threads which have a different topic, but happen to mention swarm.

 

The swarm mechanic is a nice idea, but it needs some serious balance and limitations applied to it.

 

Due to swarm, a unit can attack up to 8-10 times in an initiative round now, thereby removing the 'wear heavy armour and do less overall damage' balancing act that FE had.

 

With swarm, units combine their attacks when (all assume the units are next to each other):

 

- a normal strike from an ally is taken

- a counter attack from an ally is taken

- when they themselves can attack

- when they are dazed or otherwise prevented from attacking

 

edit:

To bring up points from the thread -

the design is that swarm reduces the enemy defense (allows more damage), but there is code that shows +attack/ally.  Both could be right, but otherwise it still fulfills the above statements.

 

The damage output from two armies in a line against each other is overly silly.  Whomever strikes first is likely the one to win.  Also, whomever still has that 1 HP unit still on the line is also gaining excess damage output.

 

I think the first thing to fix is to remove swarm boosters on counter attacks and when units are dazed/otherwise can't attack for some time.  It's the dazed part that is a big issue, as you can rush in a bunch of hammer units, perform crushing blows with each of them, then have a spear/etc unit trigger a swarm attack with each unit that is supposedly dazed.

 

The likely next step is to trim down the swarm 'extra' damage being given.

Locked Post 37 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 9:57:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think that like all other combat abilities, swarm should be ability to be chosen, not some all-mighty mechanic which makes or breaks the entire combat system.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 10:00:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I thought the Devs specified that swarm did not do additional damage, it only increase the chance to hit.

 

edit: It lowers the target's defense.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 10:02:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am a bit confused here, as I believe the swarm bonus just lowers an opposing units defense. Sure, there is an attack animation, but the units are not actually attacking.

 

Also, the weapon abilities do not trigger the swarm mechanic from what I have seen, which makes for a solid balance.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 10:11:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Swarm does *not* attack for the other units.  It lowers the defense of the other unit.  It needs to be offset though.  Each adjacent defending unit should reduce the swarm effect by an equal amount.  

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 10:18:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The visual cue is a bit confusing. Maybe change it from an attack animation to something else or even get rid of it.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 10:37:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't think it should be gotten rid of. It helps make unit placement matter and adds more to the strategy of the game.

Perhaps to tone it down, have defending units be immune to it? But adding things like that may make the mechanics of swarm even more confusing.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 10:39:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting emmagine,

Swarm does *not* attack for the other units.  It lowers the defense of the other unit.  It needs to be offset though.  Each adjacent defending unit should reduce the swarm effect by an equal amount.  

This.  If it's a three-on-three battle, it's not a swarm.

Quoting jshores,

The visual cue is a bit confusing. Maybe change it from an attack animation to something else or even get rid of it.

There must be a visual cue, otherwise people wont even notice the effect and blame the outsize damage tallies on the RNG. 

The other units could do something menacing, or the target unit could dodge a bit before being hit by the primary attacker? 

I don't know if it matters all that much what the animation is, every new mechanic in the game is going to be confusing to us.  I say give it a little time and see if we get used to it.

But that's a whole other animation that needs to be designed for every unit in the game. That time might be better spent elsewhere.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 10:43:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting emmagine,

Swarm does *not* attack for the other units.  It lowers the defense of the other unit.  It needs to be offset though.  Each adjacent defending unit should reduce the swarm effect by an equal amount.  

 

Yeah, this is a good idea. Could be hard to implement though. May be easier to just give an equivalent bump to defense for each adjacent friendly unit.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 11:33:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

ah, ok on the extra 'attack' animations.

 

But if the target defense is lowered via swarm, it does lead to extra damage.

 

Though, the statement about dazed/otherwise 'not moving' or delayed initiative units still counts.  They should not be participating in a swarm at all until they're undazed/etc.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 11:41:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

dazed units also can counterattack and dodge which is weird

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 11:46:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It needs to be offset though.  Each adjacent defending unit should reduce the swarm effect by an equal amount.  

Yeah another vote for this.  

If it's a three-on-three battle, it's not a swarm.

Exactly.   

Swarm is a neat idea, but this just makes sense.



Also, i'm not particular fond of the way they all show the attack animation but that's not such a big deal at this stage.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 12:08:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting sweatyboatman,


Quoting emmagine, reply 4
Swarm does *not* attack for the other units.  It lowers the defense of the other unit.  It needs to be offset though.  Each adjacent defending unit should reduce the swarm effect by an equal amount.  

This.  If it's a three-on-three battle, it's not a swarm.


Quoting jshores, reply 5
The visual cue is a bit confusing. Maybe change it from an attack animation to something else or even get rid of it.

There must be a visual cue, otherwise people wont even notice the effect and blame the outsize damage tallies on the RNG. 

The other units could do something menacing, or the target unit could dodge a bit before being hit by the primary attacker? 

I don't know if it matters all that much what the animation is, every new mechanic in the game is going to be confusing to us.  I say give it a little time and see if we get used to it.

But that's a whole other animation that needs to be designed for every unit in the game. That time might be better spent elsewhere.

Just a buff icon above the head would probably be good enough, like the way defending used to display.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 12:19:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting jshores,

Just a buff icon above the head would probably be good enough, like the way defending used to display.

That is a very good idea. The icon should appear above the unit that is affected by the swarm mechanic and it could look like a broken armor.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 12:23:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Love the buff icon idea.  

+1 karma.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 12:56:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting emmagine,

Love the buff icon idea.  

+1 karma.

 

Love Firefly, +1 Karma

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 1:07:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I like the buff icon idea.   I hope Stardock will consider it.

Whatever you do, Stardock, please do not nerf Swarm.    It has made the tactical game a lot more fun.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 1:09:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the unit should only give a swarm bonus if there are no other enemy units adjacent to it. Think of it like supporting attacks in the boardgame "Diplomacy."

A1   A2

   E1   E2

For example, if A1 (ally#1) attacks E1 (enemy#1) A2 would not give a swarm bonus because A2 is also adjacent to E2. If A2 attacks E1, however, A1 would give a swarm bonus because no other enemies are adjacent to A1. Also note that A1 would never give a swarm bonus to A2 attacking E2 because A1 is not adjacent to E2.

 

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 1:13:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Some code (taken from the CoreSpell.xml file) :

 

Code: xml
  1. <SpellDef InternalName="SwarmBonus">
  2. <DisplayName>Swarm Bonus</DisplayName>
  3. <Description>When a unit attacks, they get a bonus from allies that surrround their target.</Description>
  4. <SpellBookSortCategory>Unit</SpellBookSortCategory>
  5. <SpellBookSortSubCategory>UnitEnchantment</SpellBookSortSubCategory>
  6. <SpellType>Tactical</SpellType>
  7. <SpellClass>Defensive</SpellClass>
  8. <SpellSubClass>Buff</SpellSubClass>
  9. <SpellTargetType>Self</SpellTargetType>
  10. <HideInHiergamenon>1</HideInHiergamenon>
  11. <IsCastable>0</IsCastable>
  12. <GameModifier>
  13. <ModType>Unit</ModType>
  14. <Attribute>AdjustUnitStat</Attribute>
  15. <StrVal>UnitStat_Accuracy</StrVal>
  16. <Duration>1</Duration>
  17. <Calculate InternalName="Calc" ValueOwner="CastingUnit">
  18. <Expression><![CDATA[[NumSwarmingEnemies] * 5]]></Expression>
  19. </Calculate>
  20. <Calculate InternalName="Value">
  21. <Expression><![CDATA[[Calc]]]></Expression>
  22. </Calculate>
  23. </GameModifier>
  24. <GameModifier>
  25. <ModType>Unit</ModType>
  26. <Attribute>AdjustUnitStat</Attribute>
  27. <StrVal>UnitStat_Attack_Boost</StrVal>
  28. <Duration>1</Duration>
  29. <Calculate InternalName="Calc" ValueOwner="CastingUnit">
  30. <Expression><![CDATA[[NumSwarmingAllies]]]></Expression>
  31. </Calculate>
  32. <Calculate InternalName="Value">
  33. <Expression><![CDATA[[Calc]]]></Expression>
  34. </Calculate>
  35. </GameModifier>
  36. </SpellDef>

 

The last part says: "I get +1 ATTACK per ally that swarms with me". It's a bit powerful.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 1:32:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 so you gain accuracy per enemy you are facing, and you gain attack per adjacent friend?  When I get home I'll whip up a solution to the problem we are seeing.  

 

+1 atk per friend, -1atk per enemy

 

+ 5 accuracy Should be per friendly unit shouldn't it?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 1:36:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Swarm just gives defense reduction and an accuracy bonus to the attacking unit i think there should be a counter swarm effect when units are adjacent to one another, like a defense bonus to counteract swarms effect.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 1:39:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Or just have the attacking swarm unit check for enemies in the adjacent squares and subtract that from the total swarm bonus. The idea being, if 3 units line up against 3 enemies, the net swarm bonus would be 0. 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 1:41:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting jshores,

Or just have the attacking swarm unit check for enemies in the adjacent square and subtract that from the total swarm bonus. The idea being, if 3 units line up against 3 enemies, the net swarm bonus would be 0. 

 

I like this idea, and the basics of it from the Diplomacy game point.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 1:44:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nichtganz,

Swarm just gives defense reduction and an accuracy bonus to the attacking unit i think there should be a counter swarm effect when units are adjacent to one another, like a defense bonus to counteract swarms effect.
That's what Frogboy says, but not what the code says (and I think the code has the final word here ).

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 2:03:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Werewindlefr,

The last part says: "I get +1 ATTACK per ally that swarms with me". It's a bit powerful.

for looking into it.

I don't know enough about the raw effects of this, but that seems like it doesn't scale much.  Does that mean that swarm is everything in the early game but becomes increasingly less important in the mid and late games?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 22, 2013 2:29:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One thought I had to balance out swarm was to give a temporary -1 initiative penalty to each unit participating in a swarm, for each swarm participated in.

 

So if a unit helps 3 other units attack, then it's temporarily at -3 initiative and it's next turn is pushed off slightly.  Once it does get a turn to act, that initiative penalty goes away.

 

This basically would mean that participating in a swarm has a minor setback for the unit itself, without getting too rough on that side.  So the big lines of armies would slow down as they hit each other, but other units would be able to get into the action a little faster (comparatively).

This would also mean that the massive units would be able to survive a little longer on their own (earth elementals/etc) when surrounded.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #101114  walnut1   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000171   Page Render Time: