You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

General and Strategy Discussion
Moderated by HockeySam18, Barbarossa89, John the Late

Hop to:    
Welcome! You are not logged in. Please Login or Register.2 replies
Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » General and Strategy Discussion » Balancing civ tech trees around powerful UT/civ bonuses
Bottom
Topic Subject:Balancing civ tech trees around powerful UT/civ bonuses
DarkPaladinX
Squire
posted 02-10-19 07:47 PM CT (US)         
About a couple months ago, I shared my Tibetan civilization concept in the AoE2 subreddit and got some backlash from the folks at reddit (not to mention, I believe most people in the AoE2 don't want new civilizations in this game since they feel that there are too many civilizations, and it's pretty obvious that China will ban AoE2 if Tibetans were added as a civilization, so I kinda stopped doing civ concepts in the subreddit). I had powerful civilization bonus where Stable units get +1 pierce armor per age starting at Feudal Age, and the Tibetan tech tree had all cavalry upgrades (Paladin, Hussar, Heavy Camel, all Blacksmith techs, Husbandry, etc. except Battle Elephants) and balanced that out by them not having access to Bloodlines in a similar vein how Malian high pierce armor infantry is balanced with them not getting Blast Furnace and Halberdiers and Goths not getting the last infantry armor upgrade to balance out their Huskarl spam. However, people still complain that Tibetan Paladins with +3 pierce armor in Imperial Age without bloodlines is still broken. In regards to powerful civilization bonuses, how come something like Malian Champions with high pierce armor, Goth Huskarls, and Malay cheaper Battle Elephants are well-balanced with their tech tree while something like Tibetans having access to Paladins, Hussars, Heavy Camels, all the cavalry Blacksmith upgrades with +1 pierce armor per Age starting at Feudal Age in exchange for them not getting Bloodlines isn't from a gameplay and balance perspective. Do you think a civilization bonus of +1 pierce armor per age starting at Feudal Age is a powerful civilization bonus from a gameplay and balance perspective? If you were in Forgotten Empires devs position of gameplay balance, how would balance around this powerful civilization bonus?

Also, I realize that cavalry archers without Bloodlines and the last Archer armor upgrade are pretty weak, so I balance that out with giving the Tibetans a unique tech that gives cavalry archers +3 attack, pushing their cavalry archers in more "glass cannon" area. Do you think Heavy Cavalry archers that have +3 attack and access to all other techs except the last Archer armor upgrade and Bloodlines help balance their cavalry archers without Bloodlines?

I've also listed a couple of different civilization bonuses that were never implemented in AoE2, if you were to create a civilization or a unique tech and balance their tech tree around them, how would balance them out:

  • Archery Range units +1 attack per age starting at Feudal Age.
  • Herdables +25 food.
  • Fish Traps are affected by Farm upgrades.
  • Unit upgrades do not cost gold.
  • Free Shipwright.
  • Galleys +1 attack per age starting at Feudal Age.
  • Scorpions have no minimum range.
  • Cavalry Archers fire two projectiles.
  • Demolition ships have larger blast radius.
  • Units that are converted by the enemy are given full resource refund.
  • Villagers do not need to drop off resources.
  • Ships slowly repair themselves.
  • AuthorReplies:
    Barbarossa89
    Knight
    posted 02-11-19 05:39 PM CT (US)     1 / 2       
    You have some interesting ideas here, but there are some questions that need to be addressed:

    Paladins with 10 pierce armor would be insane. Why? Because of how much (or little) attack ranged units have. Consider the arbalest. Currently, it does three damage a hit to the paladin. Under your proposal, it would do one damage a hit, or one third the original damage.

    Consider the elite mangudai: it currently does 5 damage a hit to a paladin. Not great, but enough that a sufficiently size mass of them can deal with a few paladins here or there. It will take 36 hits to kill a paladin. These new guys? They take 2 damage a hit. Even without bloodlines, they are taking 80 hits to kill, or more than twice as many.

    What about castle fire? Other UUs? Most will be taking forever to do even chip damage. Paladins can run away from halberdiers, and are already plenty resistant to archer fire. I have to agree that this would be too powerful. Perhaps something akin to the Burmese UT (+1/+1 armor) would be more balanced.

    Why aren't Malians OP? Because champions aren't fast, and hand cannons have an attack bonus vs them. There is something ranged that still kills them, and they are countered by a number of other units, including paladins.

    The same problem with reducing incoming damage from ranged units applies to increasing the damage dealt by ranged units. Where the Burmese and Aztecs can increase the attack of infantry without too much imbalance, and Malians aren't OP with farimba, increasing the damage done by ranged units by even one attack point creates a potentially imbalanced situation. See, each and every one of a group of ranged units can attack, while melee units have to get close. Where 40 champions will deal out perhaps 10-15 attacks at a time, 40 archers will deal out 40 attacks. When each is increased by 1, that's 40 extra damage per volley. That really adds up.

    Herdables +25 food is a nice idea. What happens if they kill a sheep, then an enemy begins to harvest? Or vice versa? Does the food change upon death, or something else?

    Fish traps affected by farm upgrades is a niche, and seems a weaker Malay bonus. Maybe make them stronger, or gather faster? Most people avoid fish traps because they are slow, not because they give "only" 700 food.

    Unit upgrades not costing gold? That saves an insane amount over the course of the game, more than even the Spanish bonus. The upgrade to paladin a lone costs 750 gold. Perhaps 25% less gold or something would be in order, but free is too much.

    Free shipwright is a nice idea. It means that in water wars, there is a reason to rush to imperial age instead of extending the castle age battle.

    Galleys +1 attack per age gets the same problem as boosting archer attack. It's really hard to balance extra attack for ranged units.

    Scorpions without minimum range is very strong. While I like the concept, it means that one can do a fast castle + scorpions, without even having to build a barracks. Normally, scorpions have to have something in front of them to keep enemy units off, but this would allow scorpions to get going by themselves. Perhaps this should be a unique tech, rather than a bonus.

    Cavalry archers firing two projectiles would run into similar issues to the +1 attack scenarios above. It might work as a UT.

    Allowing a converted unit to be refunded means that you can go into battle with a lot of monks, reconvert your units, and profit. In monk conversion wars, this would be particularly insane.

    Ships auto-healing is super powerful. If we have equal numbers, I can retreat for just a bit, and now if you follow you WILL lose. I no longer have to gain a numerical advantage, so key to early water warfare. This might be a good idea for a UT or a unique water unit, though.
    DarkPaladinX
    Squire
    posted 02-14-19 04:40 PM CT (US)     2 / 2       
    Paladins with 10 pierce armor would be insane. Why? Because of how much (or little) attack ranged units have. Consider the arbalest. Currently, it does three damage a hit to the paladin. Under your proposal, it would do one damage a hit, or one third the original damage.

    Consider the elite mangudai: it currently does 5 damage a hit to a paladin. Not great, but enough that a sufficiently size mass of them can deal with a few paladins here or there. It will take 36 hits to kill a paladin. These new guys? They take 2 damage a hit. Even without bloodlines, they are taking 80 hits to kill, or more than twice as many.

    What about castle fire? Other UUs? Most will be taking forever to do even chip damage. Paladins can run away from halberdiers, and are already plenty resistant to archer fire. I have to agree that this would be too powerful. Perhaps something akin to the Burmese UT (+1/+1 armor) would be more balanced.
    You do have some valid points, but I still think the extra pierce armor for the Tibetan Paladins is still relatively balanced. That being said, if you were to look into my Tibetan civ concept from my reddit post, what balance changes you would make? Here are some suggestions people posted on reddit, and I was wondering if you would agree/disagree with them? My intentional rationale when designing the Tibetans is that they are strong early game but fall of lategame due to their binary tech tree that is monk/cavalry focus and they get utterly destroyed by civs with better cavalry and the Goths (in the similar vein how the only way to deal with the lategame Goth's infantry spam with high-pierce armor Huskarls is having better infantry than the Goths in the lategame. Hand Cannoneers is too much of a double edge sword against the Goths since the Huskarls have enough movement speed to gap close into the Hand Cannoneers and kill them despite Hand Cannonners bonus dmg against infantry).

  • Disabling the Paladin upgrade
  • Rework the civilization bonus where it only applies to their Knight-line unit (+1 in Castle, then +1 in Imperial for a total of +2 pierce armor in Imperial).
  • Removing other upgrades in the tech tree (Husbandry, any of the Blacksmith upgrades)
  • Nerfing other areas in the Tibetan tech tree.
    The same problem with reducing incoming damage from ranged units applies to increasing the damage dealt by ranged units. Where the Burmese and Aztecs can increase the attack of infantry without too much imbalance, and Malians aren't OP with farimba, increasing the damage done by ranged units by even one attack point creates a potentially imbalanced situation. See, each and every one of a group of ranged units can attack, while melee units have to get close. Where 40 champions will deal out perhaps 10-15 attacks at a time, 40 archers will deal out 40 attacks. When each is increased by 1, that's 40 extra damage per volley. That really adds up.
    Very interesting argument in regards to extra attack for ranged units, but I still think tech trees can be built around that. In the similar vein with my Tibetan civilization concept, the Tibetans don't have Bloodlines, but I want the player to go for cavalry archers in the lategame without having access to Bloodlines, so I gave the Tibetans an Imperial UT where cavalry archers have +3 attack. At the same time however, the Tibetans don't have Bloodlines and the last Imperial Age armor for their Archery Range units (the Tibetans still have access to Thumb Ring, Parthian Tactics, Husbandry and Bracer). How would a Tibetan cavalry archer without Bloodines and the last Imperial Age armor fare in comparison to other civilizations' cavalry archers from a gameplay and balance perspective?

    And in the same discussion about +1 attack for Archery Range units that scale per age, I had a civilization concept for the Armenians that is loosely based on Vardamir's Realms mod Armenian civilization design. I designed the civilization more "jack of all trades" civilization akin to the Byzantines, Malians, and the Chinese (not sure if Vardamir designed the Armenians the same way). One of the civilizaiton bonuses my Armenian civilization bonus had is the +1 attack per age for Archery Range units except Hand Cannoneers starting at Feudal Age. I balanced this out by them not having access to Bracer and the Imperial Age blacksmith armor while having access to all other techs for their Archery Range. Judging by my Armenian civ concept design, how would you evaluate this civilization from a gameplay and balance perspective?

    Taken form my reddit post on my Armenian civ concept:
    Civilization bonuses:
  • Archery Range units +1 attack per age (starting at Feudal Age, except Hand Cannoneers)
  • Cavalry units move 15% faster
  • Heresy technology is free (Monastery is required to be built)

    Team bonus: Magonnels +10% blast radius

    Unique Unit: Ayrudzi - basically an expensive heavy cavalry unit that sacrifices mobility and offensive power for high armor and HP, but have very low pierce armor and take more anti-cavalry damage.

    Unit Cost:75 Food, 90 Gold
    Training Time:23 seconds, (20 seconds for Elite)
    HP:120, 150
    Attack:6, 8 (elite)
    Rate of Fire:2.1
    Armor:6, 8 (elite)
    Pierce Armor:0, 1 (elite)
    Armor Class:Cavalry (-5), Unique Unit
    Speed:1.35
    Line of Sight:5
    Upgrade Cost:1000 Food, 1200 Gold
    Upgrade Time:60 seconds

    Castle Age UT: Azatavrear: Ayrudzi and Stable Units +2 armor, Cost: 300 Food, 400 Gold
    Imperial Age UT: Asfin al-Armani: Gain a trickle of food, wood, and gold for the rest of the game (0.83 Food and Wood and 0.5 gold per second), Cost: 600 Food, 600 Wood, 1000 Gold

    Disabled Techs:
  • Archery Range: /
  • Barracks: Eagle Scouts
  • Stable: Battle Elephants, Husbandry, Hussar
  • Siege Workshop: Siege Ram
  • Defense: Hoardings
  • Dock: Galleon, Fast Fire Ship, Shipwright
  • Monastery: Herbal Medicine, Illumination, Faith
  • Blacksmith: Ring Archer Armor, Bracer, Blast Furnace
  • University: Siege Engineers, Arrowslit, Treadmill Crane
  • Economy: Gold Shaft Mining, Crop Rotation, Two-Man Saw
  • [This message has been edited by DarkPaladinX (edited 02-14-2019 @ 04:52 PM).]

  • You must be logged in to post messages.
    Please login or register

    Hop to:    

    Age of Kings Heaven | HeavenGames