Balance improvement ideas

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Postby MSG-1 » Aug 4 2012, 13:38

@ dalai:
Alas they are not. But if we add them regeneration feature they will be a bit better and even comparable to blackies during map cleaning.


great idea. I think something like this should be done to all of the creatures:
Hydras: regeneration would be great bonus for clearing map. SOmething like immune to mind spells would also be good. ( hydra so many heads hard to blind)

Champions: add spell mass speed spell. Angels too good and this spell would give them good boost in final battle for creatures and heroes.

Behemoths: little bit more speed and no retaliation since hes so badass or give block. Thunderbirds too good.

Faerie dragons: They are not bad bud because phoenix so good I would maybe give a little more movement adv map+ take away chaos annex pre requisit.

Bone dragons: are terrible because of morale I would really boost them by giving them something like resurrect undead death heroes or give them morale negation or even something like mass sorrow spell.

Dragon golems: Just take away non mechanical. They are controlled by a living dwarf!!!!


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If there would be something equilibris could do for ai things would be different. But since it can't were here for multiplayer.[/quote]

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Postby Dalai » Aug 5 2012, 18:57

Please keep in mind that we are limited by 4 abilities for each creature.
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balance

Postby MSG-1 » Aug 6 2012, 7:14

Only one with 4 is Bone Dragon. And one idea would be to take the undead ability and make it that it affects -3 or -4 and also affects heroes. ;)

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Re: balance

Postby klaymen » Aug 6 2012, 12:57

MSG-1 wrote:Only one with 4 is Bone Dragon.


There is also the Dark Champion from Gathering Storm (probably from there), with Undead, Charge, Regeneration and Terror. Also Catapult from Winds of War - Ranged, Mechanical, Siege Capable, Greek Fire.
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Re: balance

Postby TheUnknown » Aug 7 2012, 20:57

MSG-1 wrote:Only one with 4 is Bone Dragon. And one idea would be to take the undead ability and make it that it affects -3 or -4 and also affects heroes. ;)


Ability Undead - Undead creatures are not affected by morale, or by spells and abilities that only work on living creatures. Some spells and artifacts (such as Holy Water) have special effects on Undead creatures. Undead creature, however, give an additional -2 penalty to all non-Death creatures.


I think the only problem is that the bonuses aren't stacking ... when you have different undead units you should be able to stack the demoralization ability.

For example vampires and bone dragons can give -4 morale but even if you have 6 stacks of bone dragons they will only give -2 morale. This may even get you to take your ghosts into the final battle :D Not to mention the "overpowered" skeletons :P ... zombies and mummies from necromancy also come into consideration :)

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creatures

Postby MSG-1 » Aug 8 2012, 11:15

Well you can't buy the expansion creatures so I dont think they need much tweaking.
Stacking would be a good idea if someone would buy vampires and make them stronger. Still it's too small bonus to only give -2 for each stack.
Nobody uses level 1 and very rarely level 2 so they dont count.

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Postby Yurian Stonebow » Aug 8 2012, 12:53

And how is all this related to discussing the economic aspects of Heroes IV?
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Postby Dalai » Aug 8 2012, 14:41

Yurian Stonebow wrote:And how is all this related to discussing the economic aspects of Heroes IV?

I split "Economy" topic, so this thread is not offtopic any more :)
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Postby TheUnknown » Aug 10 2012, 1:16

Well since we are officially split from the economy topic here are some things I think can be changed to improve the balance.

Hero skills with problems:

Scouting - some people say scouting is bad and never buy a thief, others say only seamanship should be changed, pathfinding for some is a must. Many people dislike it but when asked what should be changed no one gives a solid answer and it all comes down to "leave it as it is".

I suggest merge seamanship and pathfinding and lower the power of both because they will be one skill, on the other hand create a new skill tree that for example can give free random potions for the scouts every day, maybe even some low level artifacts. Remember that if you increase the fighting power of the scouts you also indirectly increase the power of stealth.

Nobility - Rarely people buy lords because a multiplayer game is focused on fast fights and heroes rather than creatures. On single player you may end up not fighting anything for several weeks or months. In one case not useful, in other case overpowered.

So I think that estates and mining should be fused and weakened a bit because it will be one skill. On the other hand new skill should be added to the lord so that he would be useful early on. For example: basic blue blood gives lords the imp ability to take mana, advanced gives them negate first strike ... and so on.

Creatures that may need balancing:

Nature - Unicorns may get a minor + attack or + defense or + speed
Chaos - Nightmares may get a minor + dmg or + attack or + movement
Life - Monks may get a minor + dmg or - dmg but get a spellbook, for Champions take first strike out and give them negate first strike and long weapons (or just long weapons)
Might - Behemoth may get the waspworts weakness ability, Ogre mage can get cold resistance ability
Order - Genies with +hp but -defense
Death - Vampires a bit + movement or just make all undead stack negative morale on enemies (if raised, animated and rest undead creatures work too)

Town buildings that can be better:

Caravan should be 2500-2750g 10w 5ore, current is 3000g 10w 2ore.
Life - Order of paladins shouldn't be a requirement for crusaders and maybe even champions. Also the requirements for wood and ore should be lowered for least 2
Death - Revert the vampire building cost (undead transformer requirement is good) because they were weakened a bit and now with necromancy you can't stack too much of them
Order - Nagas should require treasury
Chaos - Change Efreet dwelling requirement from Rouge's guild to Mana Vortex or Battle Academy
Nature - Elves require Rainbow not Ranger's guild, Unicorns require Caravan, also increase Ranger's guild wood requirement to at least 10

Spells for balancing:

I agree with all the spell changes in the newest alpha version, for the rest.
Life - Martyr moved to 3rd level, regeneration on 2nd but also made weaker
Death - Only add Mass life ward and if possible life vortex (improved life drain)
Chaos - Fire Aura should be better, maybe Sparks too

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Postby Arctic_Slicer » Aug 12 2012, 12:27

Since this thread seems pretty recent I'll add some my thoughts here.

I disagree with many of the changes above as many of the suggestions don't make good flavor sense.What makes equilibrus great is that they were able to implement many changes that helped make the game more balanced and fun without disrupting the flavor of the game.

Dwelling Requirements:

Ranger's guild makes good flavor sense for elves as does order of Paladins for crusaders. I do agree that mana vortex would be better for efreet than rogue's guild.


Skills:

Merging subskills and replacing them with entirely new skills while sounding good on paper would not be well received. Also seamanship skill is great on maps where sailing plays a significant role; this isn't a skill issue but a map building issue. Skills such as seamanship can be disabled in the map settings so that it well never appear for the hero selecting a new skill on level up.

Pathfinding does give a significant advantage on many maps; putting order and life players, that don't have access to the thief class, at a disadvantage. Likely the easiest way to remedy that would be to increase the appearance rate of scouting Knights and Lords. Currently the chance of seeing Basic scounting on level up for Knights and Lords seems to be about 2-5%; Changing it to be around 20% or so would help ease this issue.

Spells:

Mass Life ward would be a good addition.
A second and better life drain would be cool as well.
While we're on the topic of new spells I would like to see a high end mass healing spell(Call it Vigor or something); current mass healing spell will be left unchanged.

Creature Balance:

It's no secret that might remains the weakest faction. The easiest way to fix it is to simply toughen up their creatures; increase their hit points, attack and defense. Also since it was possible to add an innate magic resistance ability to heroes that stacks with other bonuses it should be possible to add a similar ability to all might creatures(say an innate 20% magic resistance that stacks with all dampener effects). Such a solution would work best in improving might while maintaining the flavor of might.

Bugfixes:

The description of the Battle Mage(combat/order magic) class states that the hero will automatically learn the magic fist spell however upon becoming a battle mage they will not learn any new spells nor will they have access to the magic fist spell unless they learn it from a guild/scroll.
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Postby TheUnknown » Aug 13 2012, 16:54

While we're on the topic of new spells I would like to see a high end mass healing spell(Call it Vigor or something); current mass healing spell will be left unchanged.


Divine intervention is a high end healing spell because it both heals all units in your army and even revives dead heroes. P.S. If you meant it like a spell for other factions like Nature then I am not sure about it maybe it should be given to creatures like the faerie dragon or the unicorn.

The easiest way to fix it is to simply toughen up their creatures; increase their hit points, attack and defense. Also since it was possible to add an innate magic resistance ability to heroes that stacks with other bonuses it should be possible to add a similar ability to all might creatures(say an innate 20% magic resistance that stacks with all dampener effects). Such a solution would work best in improving might while maintaining the flavor of might.


I think that the problem with magic resistance is that it works too well against factions like Chaos and Death while too little against Life and Nature (if this isn't the case in multiplayer I hope you guys will correct me). Because of this I agree with you on the part about hit points and other stats or even giving abilities rather than magic resistance. Also by giving more magic resistance we make the ogre mage's spell resistance more and more useless (not that its super powerful but I'm just saying it will lose some of its value)

I just got an idea for Ogre ... how about we make him able to use every potion? It was already made so that he can cast the potion of resistance on other creatures so I suppose it can be made so that ogres can use other potions as well. Just remove the spells and give them all the potions ... (maybe not the fireball and mana ones :D) If the resistance was not from a potion but from an ability then maybe the ogre can have more abilities as spells that can be given to creatures in battle ... What do you guys think?

I do love and respect the flavor of the game and some of the changes do look "dramatic" I admit :)
In any case thanks for the reply.

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Postby Arctic_Slicer » Aug 14 2012, 9:28

TheUnknown wrote:
Divine intervention is a high end healing spell because it both heals all units in your army and even revives dead heroes. P.S. If you meant it like a spell for other factions like Nature then I am not sure about it maybe it should be given to creatures like the faerie dragon or the unicorn.


Mass Healing is like Mass bind wound. I was thinking more a level 4 mass heal spell that was more like the level 2 heal spell on all units. This is more a of "would like to see suggestion" rather than a balance one and stems from me playing the campaigns with mass healing not being good enough and Grandmaster Magic+divine intervention becoming hard to obtain. On that note I actually think regeneration should be a nature spell as in many fantasy type games regeneration is usually associated as a druid type spell and rarely as a cleric spell. Also if we gave a nature creature a heal spell I would suggest Water Elementals as that would much better flavor sense over your other suggestions; while also adding more strategic choice to the creature portal instead of just Mantises all of the time.

TheUnknown wrote:I think that the problem with magic resistance is that it works too well against factions like Chaos and Death while too little against Life and Nature (if this isn't the case in multiplayer I hope you guys will correct me). Because of this I agree with you on the part about hit points and other stats or even giving abilities rather than magic resistance. Also by giving more magic resistance we make the ogre mage's spell resistance more and more useless (not that its super powerful but I'm just saying it will lose some of its value)


There are already many creatures in the game that have various magic resistance and ward abilities such as golems, dragons, titans, etc. however none of these creatures are might units. Considering that might is supposed to be the Anti-magic faction it would make more sense if some of their creatures had actual innate magic resistance. If giving all might creatures a small innate magic resistance is too much maybe just giving the bonus to Behemoths and Thunderbirds would work.


TheUnknown wrote:I just got an idea for Ogre ... how about we make him able to use every potion? It was already made so that he can cast the potion of resistance on other creatures so I suppose it can be made so that ogres can use other potions as well. Just remove the spells and give them all the potions ... (maybe not the fireball and mana ones :D) If the resistance was not from a potion but from an ability then maybe the ogre can have more abilities as spells that can be given to creatures in battle ... What do you guys think?


Unless they can fix the AI so that it can actually use potions any suggestions involving creatures using potions will only really be relevant in multiplayer games. Also by having able to use any potion you end up with flavor issues; if an ogre can use a potion why can't such and such a creature?

Overall I actually like the spell list they gave ogres. The spells they have are very might centric and don't ruin the flavor of them. Possible ways to improve them might be by doubling or ever tripling their spell points to 10-15 total so they don't become virtually worthless vs imps, etc. Also if you do increase their spell points maybe you could also add mass snake strike their spell books for large stacks like Bloodfrenzy.

TheUnknown wrote:I do love and respect the flavor of the game and some of the changes do look "dramatic" I admit :)
In any case thanks for the reply.


Less dramatic changes will also be easier to implement. Dalai and friends have very limited resources for this project so the easier something is to do the more likely it is to be implemented.

Anyway Thanks for your reply.
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Postby TheUnknown » Aug 14 2012, 10:29

Mass Healing is like Mass bind wound. I was thinking more a level 4 mass heal spell that was more like the level 2 heal spell on all units. This is more a of "would like to see suggestion" rather than a balance one and stems from me playing the campaigns with mass healing not being good enough and Grandmaster Magic+divine intervention becoming hard to obtain. On that note I actually think regeneration should be a nature spell as in many fantasy type games regeneration is usually associated as a druid type spell and rarely as a cleric spell. Also if we gave a nature creature a heal spell I would suggest Water Elementals as that would much better flavor sense over your other suggestions; while also adding more strategic choice to the creature portal instead of just Mantises all of the time.


I do think that Nature should get the spell but water elementals are already strong ... maybe give it to unicorns because they are a little step behind the griffins. This is the time I start missing dendroids in heroes 4 :)

How about level 4 spell mass regen ... but I feel it may be too strong

btw I didn't take into account that the AI cannot use potions so I agree with you on that issue.

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Postby Arctic_Slicer » Aug 14 2012, 12:25

Moving Regeneration to Nature and then adding also Mass Regeneration would give Nature some "healing" spells while maintaining Flavor/balance of the game.

Unicorns really aren't that bad. With a good stack of unicorns they can blind enemy stacks pretty reliably. Add Snake strike and they can often attack without retaliation which is pretty sweet and the blinded creature will still lose 2 more actions.
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Postby TheUnknown » Aug 15 2012, 1:34

Unicorns really aren't that bad. With a good stack of unicorns they can blind enemy stacks pretty reliably. Add Snake strike and they can often attack without retaliation which is pretty sweet and the blinded creature will still lose 2 more actions.


It's not that they're are bad but they need something minimal to be in fair competition to the griffins because the unicorns are a bit better in fighting against creatures but against heroes they simply cannot rival the griffins ...

I was thinking that they might get magic resistance negation so that their 40% blind will be at least closer to 40% against creatures with magic resistances or wards and not to mention heroes that get resistance per every level up. Same can be done with the nightmare, they added the terror spell to death school and they are less likely to be chosen ...

I don't think about 100% negation but 66% like the guildmaster specialty so that magic resistance still would have some effect.

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Postby Arctic_Slicer » Aug 15 2012, 10:40

Griffins and Effreti fly; Unicorns and Nightmares do not. Unicorns and Nightmares are tougher making them better versus creatures; whearas flyers can reach the heroes much easier to take them out. Against non-death opponents I would usually take the Unicorns or the Nightmares for they great utilities to deal my opponents army while letting my Pheonixes, Mantises or Black Dragons deal with the heroes. Don't get my wrong; I think flying is a great ability but it's also an ability that many people overrate with many players using flying creatures exclusively.

Honestly I think Nature and Chaos are pretty balanced far as level 3s go; the only factions I would adjust the level 3 creatures for are death and might. Vampires got nerfed a bit too hard and could get a bit more powered up and we already talked at length about Ogre magi being sub-par compared to cyclops.
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Postby TheUnknown » Aug 16 2012, 0:26

Griffins and Effreti fly; Unicorns and Nightmares do not. Unicorns and Nightmares are tougher making them better versus creatures; whearas flyers can reach the heroes much easier to take them out. Against non-death opponents I would usually take the Unicorns or the Nightmares for they great utilities to deal my opponents army while letting my Pheonixes, Mantises or Black Dragons deal with the heroes. Don't get my wrong; I think flying is a great ability but it's also an ability that many people overrate with many players using flying creatures exclusively.


Picking unicorns or nightmares should pay off in the high level battles with multiple spells as well. I am afraid they are easily replaceable by heroes that can cast the same spells (and a lot others too). Also heroes don't slow your army down which is crucial for fast cleaning the neutrals. Isn't it bad enough that their ability can be dispelled or resisted but even heroes have the same spells as one of the many cards they can play ...

Maybe blind and terror should be removed from hero spell book but if not ... at least the creatures should get resistance negation so that their ability will be more effective at least in some cases.

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Postby Arctic_Slicer » Aug 16 2012, 13:02

TheUnknown wrote:Picking unicorns or nightmares should pay off in the high level battles with multiple spells as well. I am afraid they are easily replaceable by heroes that can cast the same spells (and a lot others too). Also heroes don't slow your army down which is crucial for fast cleaning the neutrals. Isn't it bad enough that their ability can be dispelled or resisted but even heroes have the same spells as one of the many cards they can play ...


You're thinking in terms of best/worst case scenario rather than average case scenarios which are far more common.

As you pointed out heroes can cast many spells so if my nightmare successfully terrors one of my opponent's best stack then my hero wont have to. Unless it's a long game ore there are lots of power ups on the map it's also unlikely for my Chaos hero to have level 4 death magic anyway. My main magic hero would likely be focusing on Chaos magic; not death magic. So most of the time my hero wont be able to cast terror anyway; making Nightmares a very good addition to my armies.

When playing nature both Blind and Terror are opposite schools of magic so the chances of you ever getting those spells is pretty slim. When playing nature you can have your heroes cast waspswarm or your fairy dragons cast confusion; such spells are effective but not as powerful as Blind or Terror.

Just about every spell can be dispelled or resisted; including those cast by heroes so not sure what your point on that is. Do magic heroes suck because their spells can get resisted or dispelled?

Point is; Nightmares and Unicorns are better fighters than their flying counter parts and that's the main reason to pick them. The extra abilities are extra utility that can be useful in many situations but even if those abilities become resisted you still have a tough unit your opponent will have to deal with.

It's true that heroes move faster than Unicorns and Nightmares but it's also true that Elves, Medusas and Minotaurs move even slower. So unless your army is all level 3-4 and archerless you'll be getting slowed down anyway.
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balance

Postby MSG-1 » Aug 16 2012, 13:03

Most of the balance issues are to do with adventure map and combat speed.
Speed is vital and slow units rarely get picked if there's a fast substitute.
I will post you all a small lesson of how creatures are picked in multiplayer. Even though this is multiplayer, most of the players who play campaigns and single players would be amazen how your own gaming will improve and how **** the AI is when you learn a few tricks and know what to pick::::::
reminder for those who dont know:


Heroes move with creature speed!

example:

******
(adv map speeds are not accurate since im at work)
army with 4 heroes that move 30/adv map move together with phoenixes that move 45 and with elves that move 18. Army moves 18 every single turn.
********

army that moves with phoenixes and heroes = move with the slowest creature speed = very fast. So a player who moves on adv map with elves that so many newbies take and move with take 2x more time to clear map...
For this reason nature death and might get very fast heroes and good start usually when a map starts because harpies imps and pixies are fast. You move with them and get a jumpstart compared to order that relies on halflings in the beginning.

OK NOW:::::::::


If we compare level 3 creatures and multiplayer games and final battles:::

Life:
Monks are really slow, and shooters which makes them easy to destroy / make useless in final battle
Crusaders are faster than monks, and they are hero killers. First strike takes immortality potion away, second sends them to the afterlife praying they were never born. 95% choose crusaders for their games. Equilibris has to make monks more sexy. example: monks can cast any ward, and monks can mass cast wards when there is a lot of them.

Chaos
Nightmares are tough yes, and their terror spell is good yes, but since they are slow and their role in a final battle for being non flying is rather limited. The primary reason why efreeti rock is for the fact that when clearing the adventure map they are as fast as the black dragon. When u got blacks who can kill every level 1,2,3 stacks on adv map you dont want any slow moving creatures in army. efreeti dont slow you down, they just hang around and help the blacks do their thing. Nightmares just dont know how to dance with the dragons as well as efreetis do. They slow you dont and you dont want that.

Death Vampires are semi fast,flying, but they got so nerphed down in the patches that they are never picked. On top of that they are ::: Undead. If you want to lose a game, picking any undead is the way to go. Venoms are alive, they have huge damage, mediocre speed for shooters and they are high hp and get so much done on the adventure map before you get devils.
There seems to be a lot of people here who like the undead. I think they are cool too dont get me wrong but here's another lesson for those who dont know how battles work:

*********************

In multiplayer games the acting sequence of final battles are of vital importance, who gets to go first usually wins. Tactician is the most important guy on the battlefield, the better tact = the faster army = first actions = control battlefield happenings. most tacticians have leadership at gm level meaning creatures have +6-+9 morale, meaning they will get morale boost 90% of each battle. so the undead creatures will act last in combat, LAST. meaning most of the heroes and creatures and everything that is on the battlefield have done their first move = huge disadvantage...
You can just imagine what happends when you got vampires ghosts bones.. you get gangbanged back to your grave...

ps. keep in mind I like the undead but I also like to win so equilibris should balance this out...

****************************

Might
Ogre magi are a bit better now since the update but the fact that spell points run out too soon makes it a bit too poor. I would also give them mass spells if theres enough creatures.. mass first strike for example would make it a very viable choice. Cyclops are badass just as dalai said.. forcing heroes to be spread in final battle which makes the tactician more vulnerable in the opponents army..

Order
Genies are not bad. They control the battlefield and can easily turn your adventure map clearing into a funfest of song of peace and slow. The problem with genies is that they dont cut it in final battle. They are slow, they are super weak and wasting a creature to cast song of peace or slow is not enough. Nagas on the other 6 hands are a moving rock party. They are fast, no retaliation, and can cut through your opponents heroes like butter. Nothing frustrates your opponent more than having your order hero and death (assassin) hero act first. Order casts teleport, death casts mass cancellation for immortalities to go off and naga chops the heads of 2-3 heroes at the same time. Maybe adding a weak mass icebolt spell or double attack song of piece would make things interesting for the genie. That would make them very viable for endgame final battle.

Nature
unicorns are sometimes picked because of blind that can very often give them no retaliation when made first strike with snake strike. Other reason also is that its cheap to get since only req is rainbow. But still, 70% of the time people pick griffins for their speed. Together with phoenixes they make a formula 1 team that very often clears maps quite fast. Because of the summoning portal and mantises that come from there people sometimes take unicorns for a quick boost and later switch to a 4-5 hero mantises + phoenixes combo and skip taking the unicorns to final battle, where they are very often semi-useless. How about giving them a bit of magic resistance 50% or giving blind attack + 1 chance to cast blind / combat.. would make things interesting.

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Postby TheUnknown » Aug 17 2012, 0:32

Speed is vital and slow units rarely get picked if there's a fast substitute.

So fast units have an advantage in general situations.

If we use half of the speed nerf that was done on the vampires I think that we would have a win win situation ... the high level flyers have an obvious advantage in movement over other creatures, how about a small movement nerf on all of them ... a minor nerf.

Just for comparison angels are chosen usually over champions, blackies over hydras, phoenixes with a bit advantage over fairies, thunderbirds over behemoths, devils over bone dragons. So in every case except the bone dragons, movement is the obvious advantage so I'm basically saying make it not so obvious ... Even fairies would get a minor boost because they are casters and don't need to fly near their enemy unlike the phoenixes.

I do love champions and hydras and I chose them often but I must say that the movement gap is a bit bigger than it should be. If there was only the final battle maybe it would've been ok, but in reality you need to control the map and capture your opponents towns and mines or to even attack them first on the map (combat too) and this is where movement may be a winner.

About vampires if we give their attack and defense stats back I think that they would be an even match for the venom spawn, or maybe half of the movement that was taken in the nerfing process can be given back to them.


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