Why are some wild creature armies so extremely powerful?

By on June 28, 2013 3:35:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

hakkarin

Join Date 10/2010
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I understand that the point of having wild creatures that aren't part of any faction is to make the game a bit more challenging even when you aren't at war with any factions, but why do some (not many, but some) armies have these super powerful units in them? Wild creature armies should not be more powerful then whole armies from other kingdoms!

For example, I had spent many hours defeating a darkling army after darkling army with no problems, and then my army entered this desert area that contained an army of some creatures called "Wildings" or something like that. In that army were 3 units called something along the lines of "Wilding Shamans" or something.

"No prob, I got a 7 unit army with decent units and a fairly powerful mage" I thought, so I attacked it...

...then literally on the first turn of combat those 3 Wildling Shamans used some special ability called "Coal stones" that send fires throughout the whole map 3 times in a row and killed something like half of my whole army.

What? Just....what?

I mean I wasn't even able to do anything, there was NOTHNG that I could do other then just stand there and watch half of my army burn into crisp.

I tried to defeat the army before those Shamans could use their special ability again but it failed, so the second time they used it it killed the rest of my army.

During later battles I took a couple of archers with me and targeted the Shamans to kill them before they could use the Coal stones ability a second time, but even though this allows me to win battles against them they are still able to use it at least once at the start so even then I still end up loosing most of my army. It just isn't fair.

So why are these guys so powerful? It doesn't seem fair to me that I can lose half of my army on the first turn before I can even move...

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June 28, 2013 3:39:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The world is not fair. Suck it up and improve your army before next time

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June 28, 2013 3:41:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

 

Learn it. Know it. Live it.

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June 28, 2013 4:00:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting joasoze,

The world is not fair. Suck it up and improve your army before next time

The REAL world isn't fair. But video games can be, because of this thing called "game balance".

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June 28, 2013 4:03:08 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I like the fact that there are strong monster/wilding armies out there. Helps make the game challanging. Although I wish they would attack cities more often.  And as far as those shamans go they are easy to defeat with missile troops if you get to attack them. Cavalry works well against them to.

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June 28, 2013 4:06:03 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting hakkarin,



Quoting joasoze,
reply 1

The world is not fair. Suck it up and improve your army before next time


The REAL world isn't fair. But video games can be, because of this thing called "game balance".

Too much  "game balance" can make a game dul and less challanging.  I think what they need are Monster and Player options so people can fine tune how tough those units would be. For I do not want the Wildlings to be any weaker than they already are.

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June 28, 2013 4:09:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If you want the world to level with you, try Oblivion. Honestly, the point of the game must be to attack those you can kill and learn for the mistakes you make. Its not unfair that there are tough guys to fight in this game.

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June 28, 2013 4:13:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

 

You can always set the world to "beginner". . Learn, rebuild, kill. 

 

Too many kids these days use the words fair and unfair when things don't turn out the way they like. I fear for this generation. 

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June 28, 2013 4:35:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There are spells and enchantments for fire resist, fire resistant cloaks and a whole race dedicated to fire resist. 

So no, the wildlings didn't beat your awesome army, they beat your underprepared army. And yes we have all been there with those shamans

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June 28, 2013 6:44:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Try fighting a banshee with no magic weapons. 1 unit, 9 attack, 28 hit points or less.... decimate any army you bring without magic weapons. The game is balanced with these wildlings, they are not a pushover and they are a threat. One must look at the special abilities of units before attacking units. I don't think anybody would complain that a single dragon ate a stack of 7 militia units.

I really like it when I have that shaman and decimate the enemy armies with that simple coal stone spell. Such a powerful attacker and still can be the death of you, if you rely solely on that spell.

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June 28, 2013 6:56:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I disagree completely. The world being populated by dangerous magical creatures out of legends such as dragons is precisely one of the great attractions of the game. This isn't Civilization, this is Un-Civilization, and the very ground you walk upon is potentially hostile to you, the world an opponent in itself. Adapt, overcome, survive. It's great!

 

Some things can seem 'unfair', such as the coal stones spell. That's why you should always inspect creatures you aren't familiar with so you know what to expect.

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June 28, 2013 7:36:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Shamans with Coal Stones is one of the reasons I love this game. Always, always check out your opponent before attacking, and even then, be prepared for a surprise that you'll remember for the next game(s). 

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June 28, 2013 7:39:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Oh, and if you don't like the wildling shamans, be warned, you will hate the Dark Wizard. 

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June 28, 2013 8:00:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah, the coal stones spell is pretty "out there". It's better than fireball, hits everything, no "aiming" required, no casting time, and those shamans just happen to have very high initiative to boot. Very deceptively strong considering wildlings are otherwise just slightly buffed darklings. 

It's not that bad and it's not the worst you can encounter, it's just that it's a "noob trap" and if you don't know about it it catches you with your pants down (and burned). 

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June 28, 2013 8:31:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

[quote who="Jean=A=Luc" reply="13" id="3376473"]
Yeah, the coal stones spell is pretty "out there". It's better than fireball, hits everything, no "aiming" required, no casting time, and those shamans just happen to have very high initiative to boot. Very deceptively strong considering wildlings are otherwise just slightly buffed darklings. 

It's not that bad and it's not the worst you can encounter, it's just that it's a "noob trap" and if you don't know about it it catches you with your pants down (and burned). [/quote]

 

That's the big problem I have. No casting time.

Some of the replies on this thread are basically saying I should just bring a better army, but that's missing the point. It doesn't matter what kind of army I will bring, I will STILL lose lots of troops because of that damn coal stone spell.

If there was some kind of casting time for that spell, then perhaps this would not even be an issue. I mean my Mage has this spell called "wall of death" or something, which causes damage to everyone but still takes 2 turns to cast. Why not put the same limitation on coal stones? Having a powerful spell that can destory half of an entire army all at once should not be a "turn 1 spell".

 

EDIT: for some reason quotes don't work.

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June 28, 2013 9:03:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There are several ways of dealing with the wildling shaman. When you build troops you should note that their defense is useless against fire damage. You need fire resistance and that will keep your units alive. It's not that hard to give you units fire resistance with natures cloak. If you are playing altar you have fire resistant leather armor.

It should be a 1 turn spell. The spell has a cool down of 5 turns and I've used this spell against other armies. Throw in some well protected mage units and the shaman is dead in short order. The shaman is not meant to be defeated in the early game, it is towards the middle to late game type of monster. I consider the shaman a boss type character, and keep in mind that level matters when fighting this character. If he is level is 10 the fire damage is 20, if his level is 15 the fire damage is 30.

If you make the casting time 1 turn, then there is no challenge in defeating the shaman. He would be dead immediately since there is counter spells and other things to stop the spell from occurring in the first place, and thus he is not a boss character just another bear cub to kill.

Now fireball has a casting time, but notice that it also doesn't have a cool-down time. Fireball also has a big fire damage potential for the player, 18 + 4 per fire shard. My last game around turn 100 I had 5 fire shards... that equates to 38 fire damage. Coal stone equivalent to having a level 19 shaman for fire damage. I don't think anything needs to be changed with coal-stones.

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June 28, 2013 9:35:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

wildling shamans usually spawn in the mid-late game, not early on. if you don't clear the wiildling lairs in the neighborhood, they'll eventually upgrade to the point where they are guarded by shamans (and also send out armies with shamans). you can usually kill the lairs in your domain before they upgrade. killing stuff that is outside of your territory isn't really mandatory. when you send out armies to grind some XP in the wilder parts of the continent they'll probably have to deal with far more dangerous stuff than wildling shamans, so they should be pretty tough and/or backed up by powerful magic anyway (nature's cloak and/or protection from fire would be pretty useful in this case)

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June 28, 2013 10:06:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One of my favorite Champ acquisitions is the Wildling Shaman dude.  Turnabout is fair play with that spell.

That being said, I don't have a problem with the spell per se.  As other posters have already mentioned, going in unprepared against a Wilding Shaman, or with wounded troops, should have consequences.  As such the Wilding Shaman isn't on my OP list.

 

However, IMHO there is a general disconnect between game balance overall and balanced combat values.  The Stardock guys and others here have tried really hard to balance other parts of the game, and have tried to balance the 'current state' of attack values and such, but a Champion that gets a high power weapon in the early game can really destroy any semblence of balance between units of opposing factions.  And if you end up with that stack of doom in the early game thanks to a few lucky acquisitions, well the AI is hard pressed to cope with that...

My issue here isn't the rare weapon, it's the jumping from say an attack of 9 to an attack of 22 (or even higher) in one go.  Due to the way Attack Versus Defense is calculated, this really underscores the comment you've heard before about glass cannons.

I think that overall, the spread between low power weapons/attacks versus the higher values is just a bit much.  Triple the attack value actually results in a much stronger attack strength than you'd think just looking at the values.  While this does speed up combat (essentially the Overpowered unit goes hog wild striking down opponents, until the enemy gets a chance to take him out, assuming they ever get the chance), I think it doesn't help balance much.

This was something a few of us tried to address during the E:WOM days, before essentially dropping the ball.  Sure, weapon versus defense balance is much better now than it was, but I don't think we are quite there yet, as far as balancing early game/low level attacks against the later game/high value attacks.  The tech tree looks better in this regard (anyone remember the 46 Attack hammers or whatever from the old days?), but I'm just not feeling a true 'balance'.

This wouldn't be so important if this game was 'adventure' oriented instead of 4x oriented, but where we've spent so much time trying to 'balance' the game in other regards (research accumulation, population growth and such), well this just seems like an outlier to me.

 

I actually do still have this on my to do list.   While I can't speak for Kenata and the others from back in the day, at the time I kinda gave up because the game kept changing significantly between patches (minor changes, but going from say individual mana to global mana for example is a HUGE change).  1.0 EWOM is a completely different game than 1.4 EWOM, even if you take crashes out of the equation.

The one thing I can say about E:LH is that the mechanics changes I'm seeing now (encumberance aside) have been minor in comparison, with the 'current state' being preserved quite well since official release (no re-inventing the wheel at this point), which makes Modders much more content, and willing to try to tackle such things.

Essentially, this is a put up or shut up kinda thing though.  Until I can actually SHOW that there is a better approach (value wise) regarding attack versus defense, well it's just my opinion.  Fortunately, thanks to the Modding capabilities we have, I can actually try to show what I mean, but there are a LOT of values to consider, so it will take time.  And right now I'm getting other mod goals out of my system so I'll get to it eventually. But, since this thread brought this up, I felt the need to share my thoughts at least.

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June 28, 2013 10:06:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting hakkarin,



Some of the replies on this thread are basically saying I should just bring a better army, but that's missing the point. It doesn't matter what kind of army I will bring, I will STILL lose lots of troops because of that damn coal stone spell. 

I never lose anything on those shamans... Fire resist cloaks, full HP/leveled troops (with decent HP) and focus fire with ranged. Fire resist cuts that fire damage in half.. not nearly as scary then. 

You'll learn eventually

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June 29, 2013 1:08:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting hakkarin,

Quoting joasoze, reply 1
The world is not fair. Suck it up and improve your army before next time

The REAL world isn't fair. But video games can be, because of this thing called "game balance".

  Well you could always just make sure your armies have some fire resistance items and then those shamans become easy kills. Being well prepared always pays off. Do you really want a game where a base no resistance troop steam rolls everything?

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June 29, 2013 6:10:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting hakkarin,



The REAL world isn't fair. But video games can be, because of this thing called "game balance".

 

In fact it IS fair, since it even DOES warn you in the Shaman description...

"Coal Stones seems like a minor spell... until it is used against you".

Which is exactly what it does

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June 29, 2013 6:18:16 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't think it's unfair.  You can see the exact stats and abilities of every unit you will go up against when you attack that wild army.  You can see before combat what Coal Stones does.  You don't have to attack them.  If I attack them, it's because I brought the right kind of army, and/or because I can some strategic spells on the army before entering tactical combat (Freeze is a good one because it lowers initiative).  There are many ways to deal with the Wildlings' army.  Throwing a bunch of regular units at them is not one of them.

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June 29, 2013 11:01:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To be fair to the OP: if you are not in the habit of checking the stats of individual units, those shamans will be an unpleasant surprise. The other Wildlings are pushovers, so suddenly facing 3 Shamans can really hurt.

Later on, you will have various means to take out those Shamans before they can act. Trust me.

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June 29, 2013 3:20:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Just like everyone is saying, learn to avoid things you cant handle until later, nothing is "forcing" you to kill them.

 

I havent played 1.2 yet, but deadly creatures wandering my lands while I am wearing leather is just the way it is (was?)

 

If they dont move from their lairs now, then just wait before you attack them, shouldnt be an issue?

 

I havent honest ever had any problems with the Shamen, maybe its just me?  I dont attack them tho when I am rocking my starting spearmen and militias...and Coal Stones hit for like 7-15 damage or so?

 

So yeah a noob army would get owned, but anything other than a starter army should /yawn at them.

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