A few first impressions and remarks

By on September 30, 2013 7:27:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

dimstog

Join Date 02/2008
+3

I picked up FE:LH again with the advent of 1.3 (already made my kudos post) and there's a few remarks I have after the first 2 and a half playthroughs.

I play on Challenging World - Opponents, large random maps, -1 technology rate (meaning one less that default), +1 quest occurrence (meaning one higher than default). I play a custom race/hero, which probably means I am a bit more powerful than a default race. I have all 3 DLCs.

First two games, I turned off everything but Conquest win, and quit when it was clear all that was left was to steamroll what was left of the AIs. Can't say it was easy to get to that, but it wasn't very difficult either, it was definitely interesting playing though. My overall impression though was that I was fighting against wildlands mostly, the AIs just happened to be in the way. Maybe it was because I only left Conquest so I didn't fear anyone go for the other wins though. Didn't use gamey tactics, but I did reload a few times, mainly intentionally when I tried to see if I "could beat that ridiculously big monster there". The third playthrough is underway but after 100 or so turns I am in the lead consistently (I have all winning options on this time though).

So in that department, the AI needs to get smarter (yeah, yeah), but at least they are interesting. One thing that stands out is that I think they are not actively hunting monster spawns and/or lairs. I can't say for certain, and I am certainly biased since as soon as I spot something I beeline for the "XP pinata" but I think the AI is not doing that, meaning they miss out on leveling up their heroes and troops. They only seem to care about what's inside their borders and enemies just outside them, are ignored even by more powerful AI troops that could just go for the XP. I think most of their leveling comes from fighting each other. That is not to say I haven't seen them attack monsters, it's just that there's so many of them loitering around their lands as opposed to mine.

I like the new hero system and trees are interesting and fun, but I think heroes should be a bit "cheaper" to get, maybe at 75% the values you get them at. I rush to do all quests as soon as I am able to, even sacrificing leveled troops for it and rush to clear lairs for the +1 fame, but still, I would like to have a couple more heroes. I chose to have henchmen in my custom race especially to alleviate that. I don't know how making them cheaper would affect the later game though with all the city improvements that grant fame per round. Maybe it's just personal taste.

I think technology should be at default a bit slower (maybe where the -1 is). The reason is that if I leave it on default, my cities never stop producing improvements. If I factor in building on resources, the queues just feel like a prioritization of a never-ending list instead of actually improving the city. You just don't get to feel the impact of an improvement on default. Let alone fortresses which have to build units as well... With the implication that fielded units are never completely up to date except much later in the game.

Does the autoresolve system take into account anything else than hp-att-def ? I can't tell for sure, but I think that it does not. Maybe, and I know this is a lot of work, you should try and extrapolate abilities to modify those (ie, heal spells add to hp, attack spells and initiative abilities add to att, stoneskin spells add to def, etc). Again, I can't say for sure, and I rarely autoresolve (kudos on that too), but I think that the autoresolve as it is, hampers the AI even more.

Combat is very nice. I only resort to autoresolve on hopeless fights or easy ones. Most of the abilities and spells have their uses and are good to have, heroes are a force to be reckoned with, and... very nice, indeed. It is still possible to cheese your units but I prefer a rich system where players decide on how disciplined they will be instead of a limited, "fair" system. My only gripe are the rewards (combat and lairs). XP is fine but maybe instead of the 100th dagger that drops we could just get plain gold ? I know I can sell it, but still. Maybe replace some of the mundane stuff with just gold.

I won't go in to the diplomatic aspect of the game since that is being currently revamped.

Lastly, I can't remember very well, but in EWOM and/or FE it was mentioned that the AI would "learn" from unit builds the player used and would copy them in subsequent playthroughs. And I think it was suggested that the player should play a game with each faction so that there would be a "pool" of builds for the AI to have some efficient builds to choose from ? Is this still in FE:LH or am I just turning senile and don't remember well in my delicate age of 40 ?

 

Anyway, all that being said, I am very much enjoying the game now. I expect this to get better and better with every patch, and I hope there is an expansion in the works.

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September 30, 2013 8:21:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think it was suggested that the player should play a game with each faction so that there would be a "pool" of builds for the AI to have some efficient builds to choose from ? Is this still in FE:LH

Yes, speaking as someone who was attacked by his own Mounted Lightning Pikes in his last game, I can reassure you this is in!

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September 30, 2013 10:18:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

About autoresolve battle, I think it also targets the top or bottom of your army list first so if you have stuff like archers in the army its better to hide them in the middle first before starting the battle. Mages too.

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September 30, 2013 1:07:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting merlinme,


Yes, speaking as someone who was attacked by his own Mounted Lightning Pikes in his last game, I can reassure you this is in!

 

That's funny and good to hear ! However, that means I would have to do a playthrough will all races at least once... Well, I might try on Easy with fast pace and lots of resources... It still sounds boring though.

 

Quoting Ericridge,
About autoresolve battle, I think it also targets the top or bottom of your army list first so if you have stuff like archers in the army its better to hide them in the middle first before starting the battle. Mages too.

 

I noticed that as well, however I have had autoresolves where several or even all of my units got damaged (none died). I remember it used to be that the last one would take all the damage, but it doesn't seem to work like this anymore.

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September 30, 2013 1:45:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well dimstog, I think its random. Either one unit takes the damage or spread over. But I have found out that its a common constant if a archer or some weak frail unit is at bottom of the unit, it will get focus fired all the time in auto resolve instead of ur tough tanks at top of list. That way you will always take losses. Its painful to lose lvl 10 archers this way. But after i hide them in middle, I stopped losing archers. I'd rather take the spread out damage.

 

Oh and other thing, autoresolve against shrills at your own risk.  I've had an full army of level 15 soldiers lose 3/4 of their health against  a group of lvl 2 shrills, I accuse shrills of haxs.

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September 30, 2013 2:19:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting dimstog,


That's funny and good to hear ! However, that means I would have to do a playthrough will all races at least once... Well, I might try on Easy with fast pace and lots of resources... It still sounds boring though.

 

If you run the game in Cheat mode and auto-reasearch everything, you can design units using any tech for the AI.  The saved designs will be available even in non-cheat mode.

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October 1, 2013 1:20:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Does the autoresolve system take into account anything else than hp-att-def ? I can't tell for sure, but I think that it does not. Maybe, and I know this is a lot of work, you should try and extrapolate abilities to modify those (ie, heal spells add to hp, attack spells and initiative abilities add to att, stoneskin spells add to def, etc). Again, I can't say for sure, and I rarely autoresolve (kudos on that too), but I think that the autoresolve as it is, hampers the AI even more.

Autoresolve is not reliable/helpful for the moment.

What I do now is to manually direct the key part of the battle. When the situation is clear as crystal, I will use autoresolve to save some time.

For example, playing as Oracle Ceresa, I usually turn every shard into death shard. When I enter battle, I will first cast wither (Reduces the attack of the enemy by 2 (+1 per death shard) for 3 seasons.). If most enemy troops have literally zero attack, then I will autoresolve, otherwise, most of battles autoresolved by the game will cause me loss.

There is one exception though. I was attacked by dragon several times. I only have one hero and five defenders or so in the army. If I manually command the battle, I may win the fight but will surely loss troops due to fear and dragon's fire magic. But the autoresolve only ends up with my hero almost dead (1 hp or so left) and my troops unharmed. As I remember it happens all the time (3 times total in my case).

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October 1, 2013 3:41:22 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Crastiloowa,

If you run the game in Cheat mode and auto-reasearch everything, you can design units using any tech for the AI.  The saved designs will be available even in non-cheat mode.

 

Hah, didn't even think of that. Thanks for mentioning it !

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October 1, 2013 5:34:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Ericridge,
About autoresolve battle, I think it also targets the top or bottom of your army list first so if you have stuff like archers in the army its better to hide them in the middle first before starting the battle. Mages too.

Erh, didn't know you can change the order of troops. How can I do that? (I'm at work so I cannot try.)

I would want my best defense units to be at the first and last place - if it makes the AI target those more often.

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October 1, 2013 6:05:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting NeoNick7,


Quoting Ericridge, reply 2About autoresolve battle, I think it also targets the top or bottom of your army list first so if you have stuff like archers in the army its better to hide them in the middle first before starting the battle. Mages too.


Erh, didn't know you can change the order of troops. How can I do that? (I'm at work so I cannot try.)

I would want my best defense units to be at the first and last place - if it makes the AI targets those more often.

 

you do it by taking the units out of the army and putting them in. Say, a sovereign army with 9 units including himself.

YOu tend to have sovereign at top because you put units in him or whatever...

1 2 3

4 5 6

7 8 9

 

so if you have archers in 7,8,9. . . its in your best interest to take them from there and switch them around with tanky soldiers occupying slots 4, 5, 6. You move them up by taking the soldiers in 4,5,6 out of the army. Then put them back in the army they should be occupying 7,8,9 by now. That's how it works.

 

If you put weak units in 7,8,9 they tend to get murdered first. My level 1 umberdroth survived a battle against Ashwake, Fell, and a chambercoil dragon because I hid him in slot 4 or 5

 

Shockingly enough, the amount of epic battle from those three dragons only helped my lvl 1 umberdroth reach level 2 or 3, i somehow expected like 10 levels lol.

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October 1, 2013 6:46:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Great to know, thanks Ericridge. Strange that your Umberdroth didn't level more, perhaps your force was classified as much stronger than the dragonforce?

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October 2, 2013 3:42:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting NeoNick7,


Great to know, thanks Ericridge. Strange that your Umberdroth didn't level more, perhaps your force was classified as much stronger than the dragonforce?

 

Well my force was rated as Epic and triple dragon army was rated as epic.

 

Beyond that, I dun know lol.

But I do remember similar experience of old old raids into Molten Core back in Vanilla wow and people's disappointment of if we brought a super low level into a high level raid dungeon = power level fast. This was turned out to be proven wrong because experience points is divided up amongst raid members which means the level 58 in raid gets very little to none experience

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October 3, 2013 6:44:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting dimstog,
That's funny and good to hear ! However, that means I would have to do a playthrough will all races at least once... Well, I might try on Easy with fast pace and lots of resources... It still sounds boring though.

You can mod this in few minutes. All troops you need for AI are upgradable Horse Archer, Horse Mage and Horse Knight (there should be two versions of each unit: with and without expensive amulets) in CoreUnits.xml file. Then you copy/paste them for all factions and you don't need to start the game 10 times.

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October 3, 2013 11:16:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting webusver,

You can mod this in few minutes. All troops you need for AI are upgradable Horse Archer, Horse Mage and Horse Knight (there should be two versions of each unit: with and without expensive amulets) in CoreUnits.xml file. Then you copy/paste them for all factions and you don't need to start the game 10 times.

 

Ah, that sounds great, I will try it, thanks.

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