[1.5b] Are Most Champions Useless?

By on November 20, 2013 8:15:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

DsRaider

Join Date 11/2008
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I have been seeing a pattern in the games I have been playing lately. To sum it up the only real champion I use is my Sov. You always get the first level 1 champion but it's not very useful. It's so weak to actually level it up you have to support it with an army. Early game I find it better to just let it sit in my city as I don't have time to build troops for it. After awhile you get enough fame for the level 3 champion but I always grab a Governor if possible. A level 3 champion is still not nearly as good as a basic unit. Then it usually takes quite a while to get a level 5 or 7 champion. I don't exactly rush for them but then why would you? The most useful part of them is the items they have I can give my Sov.

When you get right down to it I find that champions in LH just aren't useful in combat. They aren't tough enough to beat normal units unless you spend the time to give them the support of an army and send them out to level up and quest. However I never have the time or resources to do this for more then just my Sovereign. If I where to try and level a champion it would decrease the level of my Sovereign though direct XP split, or because my Sov can't kill as many tough monsters because it has less support. Even the AI rarely has effective or dangerous champions. They are pretty much free kills.

Even if you somehow manage to level up a champion how are they useful? I have tried several builds. Early on a warrior with lethal and endurance can be a heavy hitter but by midgame the damage they do is negligible compared to groups of 4. Not to mention the cost of equipping champions. Items cost a ridiculous amount of gold.  A mage can be very powerful if you get them to a very high level but you don't always get a good mage pick. Almost all the early game champions make horrible mages as they have only 1 element if any.

Are other players finding the same thing? Does a champion with firebolt do more damage then units with staffs?  Do you have multiple tough combat champions that are better then normal units?

 

 

If there is an issue here I would like to suggest some possible options for fixes...

-Decrease the cost of basic champion gear so in general champions are better equipped.

-Make the magic tech tree unlock some basic magical only champion items. These can be expensive. This would make it easier to equip multiple champions with better weapons and items then normal units. Some existing items could be split between champion and normal unit versions. Fire staffs are great example of this. The version champions buy should have greater damage and not decrease initiative by so much.

-Boost some of the weaker champion traits. Like Bully on the warrior tree. More on this later.

-Increase the equipment and traits of all champions. Especially early ones. 1-2 elements and a minor magical weapon like a sharp axe should be the norm even on level 1 champions.

-Is there any reason champions can't spawn with a honour guard like a group of axemen to help them level? Your sovereign starts with 2.

-And finally a basic stat boost like a boost to hp and +25% to attack.

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November 20, 2013 9:35:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,



If there is an issue here I would like to suggest some possible options for fixes...

-Decrease the cost of basic champion gear so in general champions are better equipped.

-Make the magic tech tree unlock some basic magical only champion items. These can be expensive. This would make it easier to equip multiple champions with better weapons and items then normal units. Some existing items could be split between champion and normal unit versions. Fire staffs are great example of this. The version champions buy should have greater damage and not decrease initiative by so much.

-Boost some of the weaker champion traits. Like Bully on the warrior tree. More on this later.

-Increase the equipment and traits of all champions. Especially early ones. 1-2 elements and a minor magical weapon like a sharp axe should be the norm even on level 1 champions.

-Is there any reason champions can't spawn with a honour guard like a group of axemen to help them level? Your sovereign starts with 2.

-And finally a basic stat boost like a boost to hp and +25% to attack.

Practically all these things are already implemented in my mod Patchwork mod http://forums.elementalgame.com/450250/page/1/ Now heroes are Useful! Especially Commanders and Defenders (in my opinion).

I also suggest to modify warrior's skill tree.There are lots of traits that depend on particular weapons. AI may choose any of these traits but give another weapon, so these traits become useless to AI. Just compine them into one category. Any hero might have ony one weapon in battle, so will get benefit only one.

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November 20, 2013 10:59:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I usually make my 1st a commander for roads and command.

Then its a luck of the draw - if you get a good one, they can be powerful well into the mid game.  Fully depends on build and found equipment though.

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November 20, 2013 11:16:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I usually don't have a problem.. Low level champions fight defensively with soldiers then when they're strong enough, they're one man wrecking crew. Really easy to level up champions if you play on biggest of the maps possible.

 

I tend to take low level armies and heroes and send them off to untamed parts of lands and skirmish there until they're strong enuff which result in me having powerful armies everywhere. And is the main reason why AI's ambushes always fail. They remember where my lvl 15 sovereign is so they attack a city that's like six turns away from my sovereign.. only to find out there's a level 10-15 hero there with a strong army defending there. Then they rage and suicide.

And in unlikely event.. they actually send enough armies to overwhelm my isolated strong army, my other armies will use cloudwalk and reinforce it immediately.

 

Tiny map, is well.. tiny. There's not enough of everything in tiny maps.

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November 21, 2013 4:41:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Most champions are underachievers, I agree.

Usually I aim for champions with spellbooks my Sov doesn't have, so I can get useful enchantments; mainly Tutelage and Stoneskin. If they need a level to get to Air/Earth 2, I let them join my main stack for 1 or 2 fights and hope they do not die. Also, I always make my 1st champ a Commander and try to get roadbuilding. But usually it takes very long to level that hero to lvl 3/4 (I take Tutelage first, if I can), so my cities are already connected and my main stack is too far off to enjoy any new road...  

That being said, champions with Merchant or Research (Lore?) or always nice, though. If I can get Ruxa, with Lore I, I always try to level her. Some lvl 7 and 9 champs are kinda nice as well. Champs with Summoning, especially if it's free, are always welcome.

I like your idea about an honor guard, Two units would really help, even 1 would be nice. And/or give all heroes a fun ability. Not all of them need to be as strong as 'Call Slag', but it'll help if it's better than a random trait from their trait tree.

 

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November 21, 2013 4:48:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Like jutetrea said, I use the first hero I get as a Commander, initially for roads, then later the accuracy/ initiative bonuses + Command and Warcry are well worth getting in a field army. Having that hero in my main stack means that levelling up is not a problem.

Later heroes are not incredibly useful, I mainly use them for scouting/ unrest reduction/ garrison troops. They quite often get good equipment, which I usually either give to my main stack or sell. It's usually worth selling plate armour, for example. In some games where I've had a spread out empire and/ or relatively slow moving sovereign stack I will build a second stack with one or two of the more powerful later heroes to clear lairs which are being a nuisance. Some of the later heroes get quite powerful abilities (Summon Slag springs to mind) which allow them to win quite tough battles with minimal support.

There is an argument for putting later heroes in your main stack for at least a battle or two. Yes the experience will be split, but splitting it three ways rather than two for a couple of battles won't make much difference to your sovereign, but will put low level heroes up a couple of levels, which can make them much more useful. You can use it to get useful strategic spells, for instance, so they're helping your cause even if they're not actually in a field army.

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November 21, 2013 5:16:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

-Is there any reason champions can't spawn with a honour guard like a group of axemen to help them level? Your sovereign starts with 2.

I tried to do this in my Patchwork mod http://forums.elementalgame.com/450250/page/1/ but it doesn't work. Sovereigns and Heroes have different scripts that spawn them. It's easy to add additional starting units to Sovereign, but Heroes spawn alone. At the same time if you assign to spawn starting spearmen to starting spearmen they will spawn and spawn one by one after you move "parent" spearman away. But if you produce such a spearman from your city, he will not spawn "children" spearmen.

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November 21, 2013 8:06:55 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting ,

Even if you somehow manage to level up a champion how are they useful? I have tried several builds. Early on a warrior with lethal and endurance can be a heavy hitter but by midgame the damage they do is negligible compared to groups of 4. Not to mention the cost of equipping champions. Items cost a ridiculous amount of gold.  A mage can be very powerful if you get them to a very high level but you don't always get a good mage pick. Almost all the early game champions make horrible mages as they have only 1 element if any.

Yes, this is the primary issue. It simply makes more sense to "invest" in trained troops rather than a champ.

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November 21, 2013 9:14:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Borg999,
Yes, this is the primary issue. It simply makes more sense to "invest" in trained troops rather than a champ.

Shame! Shame! The game is called Legendary Heroes, not Legendary Henchmen or Legendary Units...

Solution already exists. It's possible to mod. For example try the Patchwork mod http://forums.elementalgame.com/450250/page/1/ Heroes are Legendary there. As for heroes I suggest everybody and devs as well to mod:

1. Reduce shop costs by 50% and equip heroes slightly better.

2. 1-level heroes have 2 traits but 3 level - only 3, 5 level only 5 and so on. Why? Every unit from start has 3 traits. All heroes should have 3 traits from start. Even henchmen may become better than heroes with more traits. This is a bad situation.

3. Every hero should be able to cast spells. That's the main benefit of heroes.

4. There are lots of mandatory traits that slow profession progression: armor professions, health, experience, and other buffs. Make this list short and let players develop professional heroes. As it is now, by the level 9 it is not a professional hero, he just learned only few traits here and there and nothing special.

I suggest anybody who wants to change the situation try the Patchwork mod http://forums.elementalgame.com/450250/page/1/ for 1 battle to gain 2 level and make your own conclusions. For me I solved this problem, I just love my heroes and never going to train henchmen instead of heroes.

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November 21, 2013 9:38:22 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

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November 21, 2013 10:37:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I play on medium maps with lots of other factions so I usually start close to another faction or two. This means I have to worry about the AI right away and can't afford to spend time building an army to support a champion and sending that army out to explore. I have to guard my borders and keep developing my cities. Weirdly enough champions take up more queue time then normal units since you need to build normal units early game to support them. Obviously I could level my champions but I find that it's just not worth it. Except for the occasional powerful mage they don't get me anything troops won't do for much less work. Mages are also very easy to take out using cavalry, magic, or archers since they have low health and armor. Do you ever find AI champions to be threatening?

I forget do champions still split xp? They keep changing it.

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November 21, 2013 10:54:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm curious as to why you wouldn't send out a champion along with whatever troops you're fielding?  They don't have to do anything except sit there while the troops do the heavy lifting, and eventually they can accrue some nice benefits.  Unless you're always able to fully populate your army stacks even in the early game?  Or is it that you only have a single stack and thus the sovereign gets that duty?

As far as splitting XP, yes, they still split XP if you have > 1 (except henchmen.)

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November 21, 2013 11:33:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I use my champions like my flagship in GalCiv. Early game they are running around scouting and grabbing anything not nailed down. Once they have a horse they can run around draw out monsters from their camp and loot the camp to grab some decent gear.I try and throw them unit or 2 if I can from summons or bound elementals. Generally picking fights carefully I can get them up to a decent level. Once cities are built up and have a stable economy I'm usually running around with a ton of gear. Most of my champions will have hit at least level 10 my generals go back to the cities where they help my midgame aquisitions level up. I give my other champions a decent army to play with and start wrecking the country side. 

 

You really do not need to leave your heroes camping a city. Except maybe until you link a city to the rest of your network. 

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November 21, 2013 11:41:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting jutetrea,

I usually make my 1st a commander for roads and command.

Then its a luck of the draw - if you get a good one, they can be powerful well into the mid game.  Fully depends on build and found equipment though.
  I do this too.   Roads make such a huge difference for an empire.  It's a definite difference in my games pre-roads and post roads my empire is much stronger.   I feel like a true epoch moment is reached when roads connect my cities and units aren't taking forever to get from point A to point B.

 

If I don't get a commander in my first couple of heroes then it feels like the game is falling behind the curve and I may never catch up.

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November 21, 2013 12:30:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I play on Ridiculous/Ridiculous with no mods except snaking and I have to say, I've had a different experience from what you've experienced OP.  Sure my sov is generally my best hero but my second and third heroes will usually be absolute powerhouses as well.  I tend to split my heroes between mages, warriors, and assassins, covering as many spell groups as I can but with an emphasis on death/wind (haste, wither, blind are op).  Governors are great and defenders can be very useful but I tend to avoid both like the plague.  I tend to make either my sov or my first hero an assassin as those are imo the most useful resource-free hero type at higher levels (I would say mage but mana can be too valuable to spam at times and I want reliable awesomeness).

 

I think the key is equipping your low level heroes as well as possible as fast as possible and specializing them quickly.  What I generally do is put every single extra item on my Sov so that whenever I get a new hero I can immediately give them a shield, a few pieces of appropriate armor (usually leather) and a decent high initiative weapon along with any defense, attack, and initiative buffing trinkets (in that order).  By far the most important thing for them to have at this stage is a shield, preferably non-wooden if possible.  Then I send them out questing/exploring, often alone but sometimes with the rejects from my main stack (especially if the new hero is a mage, they generally shouldn't go out alone at low levels).  I do 3-4 camps of wildings or weak spiders and such then either continue or send them back to trade items with my sov if I've got good gear for another class of hero such as, say, a crit damage weapon or a mage robe.  I make sure to stay near roads to make the travel time minimal.

 

Using this method my heroes generally have 8+ defense early on which is enough for them to take on many small camps of monsters and build xp.  Meanwhile I use my main stack to take on much higher value camps and even encroach into weaker wildland areas.  I also conquer AI's and, rather than finish them off, demand surrender from their sovereigns.  Those former sovs have tons of useful gear to a) sell or equip my new heroes with.  They are also, of course, incredibly powerful heroes in their own right and I generally give them stacks right away.

 

At no time do I ever really feel that my heroes are weaker than trained units, in fact they always seem to me like my most incredibly powerful units, at least until I get dragons and tier 3 weapons/armor.  The exception to this would be archer units from a civ with the archer trait, mages, or defensive trait 1 handed spear/shield units.  Those are all stupidly powerful.

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November 21, 2013 12:38:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

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November 21, 2013 1:25:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I usually just sacrifice heroes and remake them as henchmen with full gear and bonuses.

That being said, I basically never use warriors or rogues.  Only Commanders, Mages, and Defenders.

Commanders can be really good, because they can counter their own exp splitting with army wide exp bonuses and they can command your most powerful units to take extra turns.  Having +INIT for the whole army is great too.

If I don't sack new heroes to take their spells, I usually just send them straight to town defense whatever they are and go back to playing mostly with my main stack.

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November 21, 2013 5:55:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Plus... Low level heroes can be useful, u know that trait? It's a huge huge huge difference between being able to battle continuously and being forced to retreat and heal for 20+ turns!

 

Healer trait tend to be the first perk I pick on every single hero. It's too damn useful for grinding.

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November 21, 2013 6:28:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If I get an early 2nd/3rd hero and I know I am going to ditch it sooner or later then I will often put Healer on it.

I don't usually put Healer on my main hero these days except in really unusual circumstances.  If, for whatever reason, I don't have any magic spells on my sovereign, I often put Healer and First Aid on my hero in those times, for example.

OTOH, I do usually dump 2nd and 3rd heroes when I can make henchmen, so I will put good early game stuff like Healer and First Aid on them in those cases and just put them in cities when I start getting "serious" heroes.

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November 21, 2013 6:38:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm just starting my first 1.5b game now, but as of my last game in 1.4, heroes are far from worthless.  As others have mentioned, it's always a good idea to have a champion in each of your main armies, even if they're not doing much other than sitting there.  Getting a few armchair mages for key enchantments (water 3, for instance) if your sovereign doesn't have those schools is key.  I haven't been overly impressed with assassins or defenders, but straight up warrior swordsmasters with reap 3 never go out of style.  Plus, pushing for the level 7 and 9 hero choice is well worth it just for those occasional glorious overpowered heroes who might deign to join you (Gallowman, the one skeleton "game over" anyone?).  Unless you're trying to outfit large numbers of henchmen, fully kitting out 3-4 heroes to lead your armies is easy enough on moderately large maps.

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November 21, 2013 9:02:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks everyone for your replies. It seems like most people here play on large or huge maps with relatively few AIs. I guess it's a very different way to play then I usually do. I play more for the strategy then the role playing, and enjoy the faster pace on medium maps. In a competitive game I still just don't see how champions are worth the huge investment, normal troops are usually better and so much easier to get.

Quoting Crastiloowa,
I'm curious as to why you wouldn't send out a champion along with whatever troops you're fielding? They don't have to do anything except sit there while the troops do the heavy lifting, and eventually they can accrue some nice benefits. Unless you're always able to fully populate your army stacks even in the early game? Or is it that you only have a single stack and thus the sovereign gets that duty?

I just usually don't get more then one offensive stack until late game. Usually my queues are full of important improvements and I have to garrison my border cities as I end up at war fairly early. I can't afford to send out a huge stack to explore either since it is needed at home.

Quoting clearbeard,
As others have mentioned, it's always a good idea to have a champion in each of your main armies, even if they're not doing much other than sitting there.

It is, why? Just sitting there is kinda the definition of useless. It seems to me a lot of people use champions even though they basically add next to nothing to their army. A full unit of troops would probably increase their combat strength more.

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November 22, 2013 1:22:05 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I play exclusively on tiny maps with 3 AIs and I use lots of henchmen.

It can be kinda cool to make lots of commanders and turn them into mini cities with max gold and some research each.

If I didn't run out of fame I would put 9 of those in every city.

Seriously, though.  I just got done playing a game where I was using 1x mage, 1x defender, 3x commanders, 3x horse melees, and 1x horse archer in my main stack.

All of the heroes were about lvl 30 because I did quite some exping and 3x commanders each had full exp bonuses.  They were all henchmen so no split.

Played just as smoothly as anything else I have played.

Lots of tactical tricks with all the commands and stuff flying around.

3x commanders that can each use the ability to give a free turn to everybody in the whole army is a lot of turns, and +3 initiative per commander for the whole team...

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November 22, 2013 1:32:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DsRaider,
Do you ever find AI champions to be threatening?

 

In my Patchwork mod http://forums.elementalgame.com/450250/page/1/ AI champions are quite threatening. AI usually quicker gets fame and top-level heroes who are serious challenge to human player.

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November 22, 2013 3:14:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

DsRaider, i play with 9 ai factions, i don't wanna increase it more because at the moment the Huge maps is still too small for me

 

And no, a hero isn't just sitting there.

You can have a troop unit or a hero that sits there but as it levels up with ur army, it will keep it well healed, high level First Aid is powerful heal.

 

Sometimes a low level hero can be a difference between you still getting to keep every single unit on field because of first aid/healer while an army with no hero will lose several units.

 

If you're clearing an area full of monsters, and it's chockful of powerful monsters? You will need to bring several armies to that area just to clear it out fast in same amount of time where it might just take two armies led by a hero each.

 

And an commander skilled up in accuracy increase will ensure your soldiers don't cry to their mommies when it face hyperdodge resolns with full dodge upgrades

 

Commander = Force multiper.

Assassin = It makes things dead.

Mage = Magical Damage and Aoe.

Defender = sit there and look pretty, its only hero i haven't played much with yet.

Warrior = it beats thing until they look bloody and dead.

 

Out of all hero types, I use commander the most.

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November 22, 2013 4:22:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DsRaider,
It is, why? Just sitting there is kinda the definition of useless.

They're not useless if they are Commanders giving bonus accuracy and initiative to the rest of your army. In any case with Command, First Aid, and the occasional spell or ability (Darkling Cloak Blind has worked for me in the past), I can normally find something for my Commanders to do. But even if they're "just sitting there" they're making the rest of my army much more effective.

Seriously, try it. It sounds like you play in quite a similar way to me, with one main stack on a medium map. Add the first hero you get to your sovereign main stack, make them a Commander when they level up, and then choose Roadbuilding, and then keep choosing the Accuracy + Initiative line. Even the Accuracy is worth getting in early armies which don't get Fortress Accuracy bonuses, and even more so if you can build or tame units with Maul. Command is extremely useful in allowing your sovereign to get off two spells at the start of a battle (e.g. Haste + Guardian Wind). You don't get Warcry until quite late, but it's pretty much a game winner; assuming you already have a decent stack, they're getting +3 Initiative and an extra turn every two or three turns, which will take down almost anything.

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November 22, 2013 4:59:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Ericridge,
Healer trait tend to be the first perk I pick on every single hero. It's too damn useful for grinding

Nice template building there that. <not> lol there's too much doing the same thing every game to make this game great. It's too predictable. If it were my way the AI would learn and start doing things counter to your templates. But, alas, nobody can seem to program a thinking ai even though it should be easy with today's storage capacity and a create data base of information about how the player plays.

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