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Caster of Magic Release thread : latest version 6.06!

See : https://www.realmsbeyond.net/forums/show...p?tid=9846
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Hhhhmmmm... I'll have to check this out this weekend.
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1.4o? It's buggy and has problems in the build queue.
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(September 11th, 2015, 18:24)Tiltowait Wrote: 1.4o? It's buggy and has problems in the build queue.

wanted to write 1.4n, sorry.
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I am very impressed at how you managed to modify so many game mechanics and even get to replace a bunch of global spells. The potential of this 'Caster of Magic' project is great, and our forum will get to offer two overhaul mod options with very different philosophies and approaches. Many of your ideas are excellent (would take paragraphs to acknowledge them all) and would love to apply them to my mod, I'm baffled how you can find sense of a bunch of seemingly arbitrary hex code and not simply tweak, but overhaul features.

While I'm not going to debate mechanics I simply 'disagree' with, I can help point out some things that could likely become balancing issues in your mod, whether spells, units, races. I'm not sure if it's too early to do so now, as you might continue overhauling city mechanics (smithy) and others.

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Normal units and races (first glance): I see units generally have no to hit bonus from experience and rarely from innate bonuses. Assuming that magic weapons are easily available, I'm analyzing as if your units have an additional 'to hit' starting from early-mid game. My general thought is that normal units may struggle competing with summoning units ... probably your intention but be careful not to make normal units weaker (or summoning even more useful)

Basic Units comments:
*Spearmen with a very high 8 figures and minimal cost (just 10?) is likely to cause various balancing issues, depending on race, spells, etc. Bringing the number of figures down to 6 might be preferable later on for balancing purposes. A different balancing proposal is shifting spearmen cost up whenever racial bonus goes well with speaermen (dark elves, barbarian)
*Swordsmen and Halberdiers: steep cost even with the armor or hp bonus and halberdier's resistance generally too low - needs good racial bonuses to be formidable. I suggest 2 armor, 2hp for swordsmen and an additional armor or attack point for halberdier.
*Warship: very powerful: can be easily abused with flying, wind walking or just running/shooting tactics.


*Barbarians: race (and units) looks fairly balanced and I really like the concept of the race as you have it... I may suggest higher spearmen cost for this race because 8 figures of 'thrown 1' is extremely useful and overshadows swordsmen when elite or enchanted. Otherwise, I don't see major changes needed. *oops, didn't notice they lack the ability of alchemist guild*
*High Elves: race looks well-balanced with consistently strong early (particularly longbowmen), mid, and late units.
*Gnolls: Fits the theme of the race, looks well-balanced
*Halflings: Clearly different but logical, somewhat similar concept to my mod. Your approach seems well balanced
*High Men: This is probably where things might need some work, but my opinion is only based on your notes and tables. It goes from possibly the strongest most unbalanced race to a below average race. Pikemen and (6?) figure magician units aside, we have:
- The unrest penalty is quite damaging, so the race is no longer a leader in economic potential.
- The early units have no racial bonuses and pale in comparison against other races (if anything, resistance penalty)
- The original ridiculous paladin is now a balanced top unit by losing important abilities. Good job, but what's with the 300 cost? Compared to other [cheaper] top units, it seems pretty average with the benefit of 'holy bonus'. Lowering to 200-250 and/or giving it additional abilities like 'large shield' or 'healing spell' will balance out the poor early units with a strong late unit.
*Klackons: With the major advantages and disadvantages, hopefully it all balances out. Pretty complex to analyse without a test game.
*Lizardmen: javalineers seem too cheap - why would I recruit more expensive halberdiers just because they have 1 more hp?
*Nomad: Horsebowmen seem almost too good, a horse unit earning a ranged ability in place of first strike, though given Nomads can't have granary, I see the race as well-balanced.
*Orc: Wyverns remain pathetic, I would never waste my time building fantastic stables for that.
*Beastmen: Seems very well-balanced
*Dark Elf: Terrible city-growth and relatively weak early units - Dark Elves seem weaker than other races and rely too much on their later units. I recommend '2' ranged attack for swordsmen, halberdiers, and especially cavalry given they have lower figures than spearmen. I say this because swordsmen/halberdier/cavalry costs are increased by 50% with a [currently] insignificant benefit. The need to improve upon early units may be needed to balance out terrible city growth.
*Draconians: Those bowmen with 8 shots and flying might be too powerful in the hands of smart players. Otherwise, well thought out and balanced race
*Dwarves: golems are pretty weak but make sense for just 100 gold. I assume the intention is having a unit that is easy to mass-produce. Well-balanced race.
*Trolls: interesting concept, seems fairly balanced. My only concern is how a halberdier is only barely better than a swordsman with twice the cost (5 -> 6 melee, 4X4 -> 5X4 hp, same low speed), then the war trolls and mammoths are way superior.

Summons: the general concept is that summoning units are worth casting. That was a major flaw of the original game where some were useful and some were too underpowered and expensive. After reading your response and also that units costs 1/2 food to maintain, maybe the balance is pretty good for a 0.1 version. I just have a few issues with some units:
*Guardian Spirit: Slightly overpowered, but maybe I exaggerate. I like the idea of high to-hit to make it better to cast 'true light', but the 1 upkeep and the high combination of attack and defense may make it 'too good' against spearmen/swordsmen.
*Archangel/Demon Lord: I don't understand the reason to provide mana income to summoning units - wouldn't the income get cut with conjurer or channeler? I fear that Demon Lord is too powerful, with 3 demons (120mp) and doom bolt (40-ish mp), and 8 additional powerful life-steal ranged attacks. Add mana income, and the spell becomes rather game-breaking.
*Giant Spiders - slightly overpowered? seems almost comparable to wyverns. I'd likely prefer to cast 2 of this over 1 basilisk.
*Ghouls - very powerful ranged attacks (the addition of poison) ... maybe a little too easy to create undead?
*Night Stalker - it appears as maybe 'too dangerous' combined with black prayer, the unit was already pretty terrifying before. How does it fare against uncommon summoning units (that are not in nodes)?
*Shadow Demons - The high upkeep was probably set to make it difficult for a player to maintain nearly unstoppable regenerating flying melee/ranged units. It's pretty easy to [slowly] win the game with 1 stack, even if it means focusing patiently on summoning these.
*Wraiths - is the 0-to hit intentional? Unit [without black prayer] seems underwhelming compared to gorgons by mid-late game.
*Summon Demon - I love the concept you have there.
*Summon Paladin - Does it grant holy bonus when casted? Interesting concept.
*Summon Fire Elemental - Granting 'weapon immunity' to a common spell is too exploitative (neutral towns). A middle ground would be giving it 'immolation', slaughtering those 8-figure spearmen.
speaking of, 10-strength immolation is rather brutal to the multi-figure unit statistics I see on your tables. The spell can apply to ranged unit, essentially dealing additional 10-point fireball damage. The spell can apply to ranged melee attacks (thrown, breaths), so if casted on barbarians, they get two 10-point fireball damage per attack.
*Gargoyles and your documentation - be aware that immolation can't be casted on summoning units (did you mod it?)
*Efreet - Where I find lack of balance is the extremely damaging ranged attacks (up to 8?) with ranged immolation effect on top of it. It's a much better deal than 40mp (which is extraordinary for 'rare' summon standards).

Continued: ...

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(September 12th, 2015, 09:55)zitro1987 Wrote: While I'm not going to debate mechanics I simply 'disagree' with, I can help point out some things that could likely become balancing issues in your mod, whether spells, units, races. I'm not sure if it's too early to do so now, as you might continue overhauling city mechanics (smithy) and others.
It's not too early, I think. I have no plans to change anything significant about the gameplay outside of what's mentioned in "Future Goals", unless the feedback makes me find something that is seriously wrong.

Quote:Berserkers: race and units looks fairly balanced and I really like the concept of the race as you have it... I suggest higher spearmen cost to around 20 because 8 figures of 'thrown 1' is extremely useful. Otherwise, I don't see major changes needed.
While that might be true, increasing the cost from the standard on the race which is about speed wouldn't feel right.
Players would ask "If this is supposed to be the fastest expanding race, why are their units slower to make?".
If anything, I would prefer to reduce the figures to 6 but I'm not sure if that's necessary. Swordsmen and Halberdiers are tougher than default so it's much harder to advance with spearmen only.

Meanwhile I'm working on the AI, so far managed to adjust choices and priorities for overland casting, so those new enchantments will now be properly used by the AI instead of being ignored or even cast then cancelled due to their original realm specific effects.
My greatest goal at the moment is to allow the AI to cast more than one spell a turn, no luck yet.
Edit : I think I know where to insert what for AI multiple spellcasting to work, but it needs 31 bytes and there are only 17 free. I can make space in a different part of the code, but I have no idea how to make far jumps to actually use that space. If anyone can teach me that, we could most likely do this.
Edit more : Oh yeah! I managed to do it! Not exactly the way I originally planned, but without needing far jumps. I'm starting to feel like a mad scientist now. I'll post the hex code as soon as I finish typing it all up, it's a big ugly....and done. The whole day gone and my game is still in 1403 didn't make much progress today in playing..oh well, it was worth it.
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Quote:Spearmen with a very high 8 figures and minimal cost (just 10?) is likely to cause various balancing issues, depending on race, spells, etc. Bringing the number of figures down to 6 might be preferable later on for balancing purposes. A different balancing proposal is shifting spearmen cost up whenever racial bonus goes well with speaermen (dark elves, barbarian)
Dark Elf, Dracon and Halfling spearmen already cost more (15). Barbarians need to remain cheap because of the role of the race.
8 figures are nice, but 2 lower starting attack really needs to get a lot of buffs to do better then swordsmen, especially as defense is calculated per figure. Even if I ignore defenses, 8x=6*(x+2) -> x=6 so you'd need over 6 attack, meaning a minimum of +6 boost to start breaking even. The cost is of course much lower, but for most of the game your cities will have 30 production so you'll only get one unit per turn either way.

Quote:*Swordsmen and Halberdiers: steep cost even with the armor or hp bonus - needs good racial bonuses to be formidable. I suggest 2 armor, 2hp for swordsmen and an additional armor or attack point for halberdier.
According to my playing experience, 30 production for swordman is quickly available (mostly thanks to the Sawmill and fast pop growth), so the decision isn't really "is swordsmen worth 30" but "do I want 1 spearmen or 1 swordsmen per turn" meaning if swordsmen are any better, you'll build them, and they definitely are (unless you buff them with +7 attack).
Halberdiers, I think you are right, they could use an extra point of attack or defense for that price, I'm leaning towards defense.

Quote:*Warship: very powerful: can be easily abused with flying, wind walking or just running/shooting tactics.
I think I reduced their shots to 15 from 99? Their attack is only 2 higher than original so that should have made them weaker.
Maybe that's still too much? I'll try with 10.

Quote:- The original ridiculous paladin is now a balanced top unit by losing important abilities. Good job, but what's with the 300 cost? Compared to other [cheaper] top units, it seems pretty average with the benefit of 'holy bonus'. Lowering to 200-250 and/or giving it additional abilities like 'large shield' or 'healing spell' will balance out the poor early units with a strong late unit.
I adjusted them a few times, the cost was set with assuming they pierce armor, but it still does not feel too much. You only need one paladin in your army to get a +1 to your entire army with Holy Bonus, which an Angel would give you for an even higher cost and it's still worth it.
Having First Strike and 4, decently strong figures, this unit can be overwhelming with proper buffs, and don't forget they also have illusions and death immunity, too, not to mention fast movement. I might reduce the cost slightly if I feel it's too weak, but I think Holy Bonus is enough to keep it high.

Quote:*High Men: This is probably where things might need some work, but my opinion is only based on your notes and tables. It goes from possibly the strongest most unbalanced race to a below average race.
-Unrest isn't a major issue if you aim to have mainly High Men towns, which you probably want to for the superior units, otherwise you can play orcs instead. They only get a +1 penalty in their own towns, which isn't significant. You need that Cathedral for the Paladins anyway so you will be reducing the unrest. Tax tables are also less harsh, 2.25 gold instead of 2.5 due to the higher unrest isn't that bad.
-Pikemen are crazy powerful, I have had a unit of Pikemen with some buffs kill top rank fantastic units like Great Wyrms even. 8 Figures and armor pierce = win.
-Magicians are nice too considering you'll want to build a Wizard's Guild for the power bonus anyway. That's already 3 awesome special units while a lot of other races have only one, or none at all other than stronger basic ones.
-Oh, and they also have Priests, which are much harder to kill than Shamans.
-On top, you can build anything with no limitations, too
Needs more testing definitely but I think it's still worth playing them. Especially if you play Life.

Quote:Lizardmen: javalineers seem too cheap - why would I recruit more expensive halberdiers just because they have 1 more hp?
True, I have to do something about that. Buffing Halberdiers will help here but I think they should cost at least 60 even then.

Quote:*Orc: Wyverns remain pathetic, I would never waste my time building fantastic stables for that.
I used some in my previous game and they felt quit good although not that special, still enough to raise their costs to the current 150 from the 100 I had for testing.
Posion 6 does a ton of damage to low resistance units, which are easier to find, but I have to admit they don't do much to higher resistance units. Orcs are the "medicore" race though, so their special units can't be too powerful. Some improvements might be needed but I'm not sure what.

Quote:*Dark Elf: Terrible city-growth and relatively weak early units - Dark Elves seem weaker than other races and rely too much on their later units. I recommend '2' ranged attack for swordsmen, halberdiers, and especially cavalry given they have lower figures than spearmen. I say this because swordsmen/halberdier/cavalry costs are increased by 50% with a [currently] insignificant benefit. The need to improve upon early units may be needed to balance out terrible city growth.
The advantage of this race is the special units, if you get there, Warlocks, Nighmares and Nighblades are all really powerful.
I agree the ranged attacks need to be buffed to a 2, should have done that when I buffed bowmen but forgot. I was too busy nerfing the power bonus and buffing the crappy Nightmares to even notice.

Quote: golems are pretty weak but make sense for just 100 gold. I assume the intention is having a unit that is easy to mass-produce.
That and they are actually quite difficult to kill, 8 defense and 20 health is a lot on a normal unit. Only Dragon Turtles have more. Damage output is not impressive but they can tank average units for an eternity.

Quote:rolls: interesting concept, seems fairly balanced. My only concern is how a halberdier is only barely better than a swordsman with twice the cost (5 -> 6 melee, 4X4 -> 5X4 hp, same low speed)
Yep, the +1 health bonus doesn't look that impressive on Trolls than on other units, I need to do something about this.[/align]

Quote:Summons: the general concept is that summoning units are worth casting. That was a major flaw of the original game where some were useful and some were too underpowered and expensive. I do worry that your summoning units might be too cost-effective and 'ahead of their time' in that normal units (with their removed +1 to hit elite bonus) can't stand a chance against them. Striking the right balance is essential.
I made them powerful because they are a lot more limited in availability.
While you'll have many towns generating 30-60 production each as well as another 60 gold for a total of 120 resource per town that can be spent on normal units, so your empire will be building in the 1000s per turn, summoned creatures require casting skill, which you only have at best 100-200 a turn, and that has to compete with other types of spells, many of which are more important and powerful than the creatures themselves.
They are definitely better in the first few years in the game when you cannot afford building that much units in your few towns, but I see no problem with that. The AI will spam 2-3x more of them than you in any decent difficulty level, so you can't overpower them this way.
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Spearmen vs Swordsmen - I didn't think of that - the cost of both are so low that it doesn't make much of a difference when you have all that production.

Relating to halberdiers, did you also consider adding 1 resistance to them (and maybe lowering 1 for spearmen)? Giving more resistance to halberdiers can bridge the large resistance gap between mid-tier units and stuff from armorer's guild.

High Men - I did get a shock reaction to how much they've been weakened. I see the support usefulness to your excellent pikemen and if the main strategy is to have 1 or 2 per stack, they're not necessarily useless.

Their power is that even if they had 15 shots instead of 99, you can do massive damage with 15 without being harmed with run-and-shoot tactics. Nevertheless, if they almost always stay on ocean tiles, it does make sense to make them extremely powerful and rule the seas. The only real concern is the 'flying' exploit with sorcery wizards.

Wyverns - I just they just need 1 or 2 more melee points, and they will be functional below-average top-tier units.

Dark Elf - just to clarify, I suggest '2' ranged power to units above spearmen. Giving 2 ranged to spearmen would make them too scary for their cost.


I understand summoning vs normal mechanics more now, given how city mechanics are shaped in your mod. This is a game of high numbers, and it takes a lot of patience to build a stack of summoning units. I do hope that AI prioritizes high-tier summoning units, because once you get a stack of Stone Giants, can their stag beetles, etc really compete? I suggest boosting city wall defense bonuses and AI summoning priorities focused on 'rares' and 'very rares' to make city conquest more of a challenge.

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Well, it seems you are picking up where kyrub left off. Good job. I, for one, would like to see some tweaks made to Insecticide rather than a mod. Notably, modifying the combat routines to attack sensibly rather than make a beeline for my archers and ignore the attacks of frontline units along the way. This is one of the greatest failings of Insecticide as I see it. If you can keep track of your bugfixes and computer player tweaks and roll them into Insecticide at some point, that would be a great achievement. Kyrub's best attribute was that he didn't really monkey with the game, he just fixed things and made the game follow the manual/strategy guide like it should have.
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