How to "Fix" Inferno... what would you do?

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How to "Fix" Inferno... what would you do?

Postby Wolfshanze » Jun 1 2006, 16:32

Lots has been discussed concerning the apparent "weakness" of Inferno. From overall town weakness to specific concerns about certain creatures like the Devil and Demon.

I don't want this to upset anyone or make anyone uptight. There's lots of folks who think Inferno is just weak and should be boosted to match other towns.

Nival is working on a patch which may or may not address some, none or all of these issues. For the sake of peace and quite, I am writing this thread with the following assumptions:

1) The game in state as-is now in v1.0... no changes, no updates, and/or assuming nothing gets changed in a later version which effects Inferno balance.

2) A user-mod which can easily be used to change the stats to give balance to inferno with other towns. If you don't like mods, then please don't use it or bash those who would.

I'm looking for CONSTRUCTIVE suggestions on how things could/should be changed for Inferno. Mostly stat-based, because I don't think it's easy (or should be attempted) to do things other then stat changes... in other words:
"I think Demons should have a higher initiative" is a good suggestion.
"I think Demons should be spellcasters" might not be so easy to implement.

In other words, I think the Inferno town could be beefed up with a few MINOR stat-tweaks... not changing the whole way they are or play. This could easily be included in a "Inferno.Pak" mod if you will.

Just to play "Devil's Advocate" (forget the tie-in and bad joke), here's my thoughts:

A) Devil/Arch Devil... current speeds of 7 for both.
Suggested Change... Devil to 9, Arch Devil to 10

B) Demon/Overseer... current initiative of 7 and 8.
Suggested Change... Demon to 11 and Overseer to 12

C) Imp/Familiar... current initiative of 13
Suggested Change... lower both to 11

My reasons for the above suggestions:
A) The Devil speed thing has been gone over non-stop in some threads, so I'll briefly summarize my opinion. Devils are slow, with average level-7 HPs and no special that is special... I think if you make them as fast or slightly faster then Dragons, with no other changes, they're a top-tier Level-7 without being overpowered.

B&C) IMHO, Imps are great for level-1... so great in fact, they completely overshadow the worthless level-2 demons. I know many folks think Demons are hands-down the worst level-2 creature in the game. I suggest giving the demons a big boost in initiative to make them worthwhile. At the same time (and in the issue of fairness), I don't want EVERY unit in the Demon Army to be moving so fast, so as a counter, I slightly lower the initiative of the Imps... this makes demons quicker and stronger then Imps... probably the way it should be since we're talking level-1 vs level-2 anyways.

What do you folks think? Remember, even if you think these are the WORST ideas you've ever heard of in your life, and I go through with it unchanged from my above suggestions, you don't have to download it or use it, so please, if you don't like the suggestions, be nice... I'm looking to balance the game FOR MY SYSTEM AND USE. I'll share if others agree or come up with a better idea for balance.

Remember, I'm writing the above thinking only of v1.0... if Nival comes out with a better idea in v1.1 or later, I'm all ears. For now, however, I only have v1.0 as a basis, and I kinda like my idea (imagine that).

What are your thoughts and/or suggestions on how to "fix" Inferno?

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Postby DaemianLucifer » Jun 1 2006, 16:39

Imps should stay the way they are.The reason for their initiative is to steal mana,and thats why they need to act quickly.I agree with the initiative boost for the demon and speed for the devil.

How about increasing hell hound/cerberi HP,or better yet their defense.Maybe HP of 20 and defense of 5 would be better,but with a slight increase in cost(Im not sure whats their current cost).

Also,nightmares are weak.I know they have 66 HP because its a joke,but 75 would be better.

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Postby Wolfshanze » Jun 1 2006, 16:56

DaemianLucifer wrote:Imps should stay the way they are.The reason for their initiative is to steal mana,and thats why they need to act quickly.I agree with the initiative boost for the demon and speed for the devil.

How about increasing hell hound/cerberi HP,or better yet their defense.Maybe HP of 20 and defense of 5 would be better,but with a slight increase in cost(Im not sure whats their current cost).

Also,nightmares are weak.I know they have 66 HP because its a joke,but 75 would be better.


I knew there would be a "no, don't touch my Imps" reaction from somebody (if not a lot of folks)...

Here's my thoughts a little more on this...

Yes, Imps need the "steal mana" thing and need to act fast... but just how fast do they need to act? Initiative-13 is pretty damn crazy fast! I suggest an Initiative of 11, which is almost always (if not always) faster then an enemy Hero would move. But with Initiative of 13, beyond the mana-drain, they are just crazy-fast and fighting waaaaaaay too often on the map for a level-1 creature if you ask me. Demons should be the main "fodder" troop of the Inferno town, but to be that, they should be able to be all over the map more then the Imps, which are after all, level-1 and kinda specialized for that mana drain... leave the mana drain for the imps and the fighting to the demons... that's my thought, and by sorta reversing the initatives of these two critters, you get imps that are fast enough to steal mana, and demons that are fast enough to be noticed on the field of battle... think about it... at INI-11, Imps will STILL go before heroes do, they just won't be attacking every other turn during battle.... Demons would now assume that role (just a tad slower then the INI-13 Hell Hounds).

Maybe beefing the Cerberus HP from 15 to 17... nothing more... I give them 2-extra HP over the Hell Hound for having two extra heads!

I think the Hell Charger is fine as-is... I'm trying to bring-up the Inferno to be on-par with other towns, not make them a super-duper town. Hence the trade-offs with the Imp/Demon.

I'm not an Inferno fan-boy... I'm a Necro at heart. I'm trying my impartial best to balance Inferno, and that doesn't necessarily mean raise everything... I think some things could be lowered and actually help play balance!

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Postby Jimmpi » Jun 1 2006, 17:13

DaemianLucifer wrote:Also,nightmares are weak.I know they have 66 HP because its a joke,but 75 would be better.


hmm,wasen't nightmare the creature with most hit points in heroes IV(for "lvl 3")..

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Postby DaemianLucifer » Jun 1 2006, 17:17

Since imp drain mana acording to their numbers,their first drain is the most important one,hence they need to stay alive,therefore in fron of other shooters and chargers.

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Postby Wolfshanze » Jun 1 2006, 17:17

Jimmpi wrote:
DaemianLucifer wrote:Also,nightmares are weak.I know they have 66 HP because its a joke,but 75 would be better.


hmm,wasen't nightmare the creature with most hit points in heroes IV(for "lvl 3")..

Well, I could always raise the HP to 666... that would both raise their HP and keep "the joke" intact.

Just kidding folks!

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Postby Wolfshanze » Jun 1 2006, 17:28

DaemianLucifer wrote:Since imp drain mana acording to their numbers,their first drain is the most important one,hence they need to stay alive,therefore in fron of other shooters and chargers.

I know where you're coming from, but you can't have your cake and eat it too. I don't think RAISING EVERYTHING is a good idea for play balance. As it is now, the Inferno already has some crazy-fast units for initiative... Imps and Hell Hounds are BOTH at 13-ini... now if you bring up Demons into this range too, you'd practilly have the entire Demon Army moving first before everyone else.

If it's important to get the Demons fighting more often with an initiative boost, it's just as important to maintain some balance, and having three low-end units all with INI-12 or higher is NOT the answer IMHO.

Once again, I think you're over-reacting to my proposal to lower Imps DL... I know your an Inferno-lover, but if you take off the hellfire-shaded glasses for a minute and see where I'm coming from I think you'll agree you're really not giving up much with my proposal.

You're worried if Imps get their 13-ini lowered to 11, they'll never get to use their mana drain (especially with the "first" opportunity).

Think about this... what is going to kill the imps before ini-11?

Heroes don't go before ini-11 ASFAIR...
Most shooters are ini-10 or lower...
Most ini-11 or higher units won't be able to reach an Imp in one turn...

Short of a Dragon being poised in just the right spot, there's little to stop an Imp with ini-11 from accomplishing his initial goal (and even then, ties with ini-11 are in random order). If you have a problem with a level-7 dragon getting the jump on a level-1 imp, then you've got bigger issues to deal with! LOL.

I've thought a lot on this subject. You don't have to only raise stats to get balance... you can go up and down to accomplish this. Raising Demons ini by 4 and lowering imps ini by 2 is part of the trade-away which makes the game more balanced.

This also ensure DEMONS as a level-2 creature have a greater battlefield presence then the Imps do... as it should be... it ALSO still nearly ensures the Imps get to do their primary role as mana stealers!

Think about it... I've been looking at all the angles...

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Postby Purple Sky » Jun 1 2006, 17:29

Why is 66 hps a joke? Doesnt there have to be three 6?

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Postby Wolfshanze » Jun 1 2006, 17:31

Purple Sky wrote:Why is 66 hps a joke? Doesnt there have to be three 6?

I think it's 2/3rds of a joke. I agree with others though that it was a bit of a joke... I think it's too obvious to be a coincidence...

I even think the Devils are "in" on the joke (HP 166 & HP 199).

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Postby cromulantkeith » Jun 1 2006, 17:41

I don't like giving horned demons such high initiative. They are fat and slow, they shouldn't be acting before most armies. So how do you improve them while keeping their "flavor"?

What I would do to improve them is to keep them the same at first stage, but for the upgrade, instead of the "bomb" give them very fast gating.

Basically, I see their role as being a low level meat shield to protect my units from ranged. Currently, they do nothing, as they are too slow and barely have any movement.

IMO increasing their initiative doesn't solve their main problem. Big deal they get to move more often... that isn't really their role in my opinion. They can't move far, so moving sooner won't do much.

I think to capture their role, any solution to the horned demon problem should effectively make them able to absorb some damage early in the fight. That is why my solution would be to give the upgrade unit the ability to gate really fast.

Basically that way, if you wanted a quick ranged nullifier, you would upgrade your demons so that they'd gate fast. Then any fight afterwards, you could gate a horned demon on their ranged. Sure they deal next to no damage, but their role as stopping ranged would make them useful none-the-less.

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Postby DaemianLucifer » Jun 1 2006, 17:45

Why not decrease cerberi initiative to twelve and increase their HP by 2 or three,along with the cost.That would perfectly compensate for the demon increase.And considering how slow pit fiends and devils are,fast low levels are perfectly sensible.

And Im not inferno lover,I hated them in HIII.I always prefered academy/order,and necro after them.Now,Im not sure.Ill have to finish the campaigns first.

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Postby Wolfshanze » Jun 1 2006, 17:48

Some interesting thoughts, but I'm not sure "Gating quicker" is something easily changed/moded in the game (especially for just one unit).

I'm talking an end-user mod, changing how Gating works would probably have to come from Nival if it will ever change (I have a feeling it won't but I could be wrong).

If I'm not mistaken, units with higher initiative tend to move not only sooner, but more often the units with low initiative past the first turn. This is the gyst of my suggestion... at the very least, giving them the OPTION to attack first is better then the no-options they currently have.

Also, do realize that higher initiative = faster gating times. Ever seen a Demon gate-in faster then an Imp? It's because of initiative! My suggestion would actually kinda go along with your train of thought.

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Postby DaemianLucifer » Jun 1 2006, 18:13

Demons should have higher initiative.Especially the overseer.Maybe lowering their stats but making their explosion stronger.That would turn them into full kamikazis(spelling?)

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Postby Raspyn » Jun 1 2006, 18:30

As far as demons go... I have no problem with the stats of the unit itself, although I think it's cost in gold is too high. It is extremely expensive for a less-than stellar level 7 unit.

It currently costs 4666 gold + 2 resources to recruit an arch-devil, if I recall correctly, which is a price comparable with titans.

I agree about the demons though, they really need a higher initiative. With their low initiative, even their gated troops arrive too late to really do anything. Plus with such a low initiative, it's hard to position the horned demons well so that their next turn they can "explode" with maximum effect.

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Postby Gaidal Cain » Jun 1 2006, 18:59

DaemianLucifer wrote:Since imp drain mana acording to their numbers,their first drain is the most important one,hence they need to stay alive,therefore in fron of other shooters and chargers.


Of course, first drain=only drain. At least that's my experience.
You don't want to make enemies in Nuclear Engineering. -- T. Pratchett

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Postby cromulantkeith » Jun 2 2006, 15:06

Wolfshanze wrote:Some interesting thoughts, but I'm not sure "Gating quicker" is something easily changed/moded in the game (especially for just one unit).

I'm talking an end-user mod, changing how Gating works would probably have to come from Nival if it will ever change (I have a feeling it won't but I could be wrong).

If I'm not mistaken, units with higher initiative tend to move not only sooner, but more often the units with low initiative past the first turn. This is the gyst of my suggestion... at the very least, giving them the OPTION to attack first is better then the no-options they currently have.

Also, do realize that higher initiative = faster gating times. Ever seen a Demon gate-in faster then an Imp? It's because of initiative! My suggestion would actually kinda go along with your train of thought.



Indeed, that's what I was trying to get at with those suggestions... a way to speed up demon gating without simply upping thier initiative.

Because something just seems wrong with fast demons. They are supposed to be slow and clunky.

I hope Nival finds a way to make them useful, without ruining thier "clunky" feel.

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Postby T-Hawk » Jun 2 2006, 15:37

I find the demons good enough. It's pretty cool when you're fighting a big battle and all your troops are weakened/death, then the demons come and become a target for your enemy, giving your other troops some air. So I think they're fine this way.

But I also think the Explosive special ability of the Demons isn't very useful. They aren't being attacked alot, (so they can't do Explosive immediatly) and they aren't often at turn to first strike an enemy and the turn after use the ability (Often the demons are weakened already, or a fellow has arrived in an adjacent spot to help, or the enemy has already been weakened).

So they shouldn't change their stats, but change their special ability.

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Postby Wolfshanze » Jun 2 2006, 15:38

cromulantkeith wrote:Because something just seems wrong with fast demons. They are supposed to be slow and clunky.

They are? I didn't get that memo... where did Nival write a statement saying all Demons are slow and clunky? Even the movement animation for demon says otherwise to me...

Watch a Demon move across the map and watch a Zombie move across the map and tell me which one seems "slow and clunky". If anything, the Demon animation screams speed. Kinda "monkey-like"... I never think of monkeys as slow and clunky.

I totally disagree with your analogy here... just because Nival made Demons useless, and made them "slow and clunky" in stats, doesn't mean that's what demons are or should be (or even were intended to be).

With my mod, they still have some weak stats and "speed-wise" are a bit slow, but with a higher initiative, they act more often and can gate a little quicker, making them actually useful in combat instead of lumps on a log as they are now (and shouldn't be IMHO).

Sorry... I didn't get the memo from Nival that said all Demons are "slow and clunky", and I see no reason why they should be. We're not talking Zombies here.

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Postby cromulantkeith » Jun 2 2006, 17:23

IMO demons were supposed to be slow and clunky based solely on how slow they are in the release. If you give them huge initiative, then they lose their flavor (my opinion).

Also, Inferno already have tons of huge initiate stacks, and fixing the demons simply by giving them higher initiative is just too cut and dry for me.

Nival may end up doing something similar to that, but all I'm saying is that I'd rather see them balance inferno in inovative ways that augment the flavor of the inferno. Not just simply stat changes.

I'd rather see them gain some ability that actually makes them useful for absorbing damage. Unless the demon initiative gets boosted to 13+ (so that they can gate quickly), they will still be extroadinarily useless.

But that's the case for any slow initiative/movement melee only unit (zombie suffers this as well)

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Postby Wolfshanze » Jun 2 2006, 19:10

Zombie is probably the 2nd most useless unit in the game (behind Demon)... it's only saving grace is that it is tougher then the Demon in absorbing damage. The other issue is that Zombie is on an otherwise very strong faction. The Demon's problems are exagerated because the other Demon forces (besides Succubi) all have no backbone and can't take any damage.

I vision the Inferno town as an "attack fast, attack hard" kinda town that can't take any counter attacks... most of their units have high initiative, and little health. The Demon stands out as weak (like all other units) but lacks any quick strike... so it's both slow and weak... totally useless.

The Demon movement animation clearly infers speed... it's stats are actually similar to other inferno units (might strike quick, but die in piles)... only problem is that it can't strike quick because it's by far the slowest unit in Inferno... I fixed that, and tempered the Imps a bit to counter. Playing the game with the mod I did actually makes the game FEEL better... Imps seem more level-1-ish (like they should), and Demons have some worth now (like a level-2 should have).

Before the mod, imps were the only low-level Inferno creature I would bother with... I'd leave all the Demons at home if I didn't have spare cash to blow on them... they simply just sit there and collect dust in battle... my mod actually makes them useful, but DEFINATELY NOT overpowered.


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