Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
iNcog

Ranged Cavalry too strong

Recommended Posts

Just to add some reason why cav skirms are the current tier 1 cav unit: The reason the Cav Skirm is a tier 1 (village phase) unit is for hunting purposes. Since hunting has largely, but not completely, been fixed for melee units, there is no gameplay reason to keep cav skirms the tier 1 civic center cavalry unit, because melee cav can hunt now too when they couldn't before because of annoying pathfinding issues. The pathfinding issues have been circumvented for now until a more comprehensive solution is found, so In fact, it now makes sense to make the tier 1 "civic center" cav unit a melee cav unit. This creates a simple paper rock scissors dynamic in village phase (melee cav >ranged infantry> melee infantry), allowing things to get more complicated in town phase (tier 2, unlocked at the barracks) with ranged cav and all the other additional unit types.

So, in conclusion, I would go with incog's simplest solution of moving the cav skirm to tier 2 and a melee cav unit to tier 1.

Back to lurking.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if skirm cav is only trainable at age2, civ which dont have any spearmen at age1 (romans, iberians...) have a considerable disadvantage -> their only way to counter melee cav rush; will be to train melee cav too, when other civs wont have to train anything especially, because it fals within the meaning that spearmen will be trained yet.

Edited by Tango_

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure but iNcog pointed out that the civic center is good protection against melee cav. Thus it's at least not nearly as bad as ranged cavalry.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CC is a good defend for your farms. wood spot are not defended by CC arrows... wood spot have to be defend by units, especially sprearmen

and i think that's worther than ranged cav unit problem, because, if you rush skirm cav, your opponent can do the same. with the solution you have, romans and iberians cant hold on.

Edited by Tango_
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also suggested in the past to create a turtle formation for all shield infantry units where they become immune to projectiles, but remain still and can only be exposed through melee attack. This way speedy archers arent the best next reliable tool for killing off units.

Edited by Sighvatr
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I think that Romans and Iberians should also get spear men in age 1, if it becomes necessary. Perhaps it would be best that every civ should get a ranged infantry, a spear infantry and a melee cav in age 1. This should, very roughly, complete the counter-circle, which is RI > SI > MC > RI.

However it's worth noting that defender's advantage is pretty big early game, if you go for a melee cav rush you're setting yourself behind in eco. The CC can't cover your wood but that doesn't mean you can't retreat your units back into the range of CC ranged attack temporarily. Melee cav will be forced to take CC fire if they get in too close, the problem with skirmcav is that they could attack most units inside the protection of the CC without taking CC fire themselves. So going broke for eco with your melee cav rush means you have to do real damage or you will be behind. Dealing that damage is much more difficult with melee cav than ranged cav. Also worth noting is that ranged infantry will be able to fire at melee cav from the safety of your CC as well.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

iNcog -> just decrease skirm cav lifepoints, decrease their damage shot , and why not increase women life point would have been(i think) easier to do than to put melee cav and spearmen for everyciv.

or , just increase skirm cav cost, that is to say increase their cost to 200ressources for each one, and increase their pop place (actually1) , to 2

Actually, by doing melee cav and spearmen for all at age1, it really looks like aoe3 (about gameplay)

Edited by Tango_

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doing crazy stat changes is actually more complicated than just switching a few units around in the tech tree; in terms of coding it would probably be a boring and tedious task but not a difficult one.

If you increase skirmcav cost or decrease their stats you're basically doing a band-aid solution where you're trying to fix a major design flaw with strange stats. Nerfing skirm cav so they aren't a problem in age 1 would mean making them useless in later ages or something. It would just create more problems while not solving the core issue. The issue is that skirmcav are both ranged and mobile in age 1.

Melee cav & spear infantry for every civ is better than every civ having a broken unit which limits open build orders to skirmcav rush.

Units in 0 AD can be compared to Aoe3 but it's definitely not the same thing. I wouldn't hesistate to send 5 melee cav against 20 ranged infantry in aoe3, because that's a very cost-effective fight for me. Counters are much harder in aoe3 than they are in 0 AD. However sending 5 swordcav in this game vs 20 archers will likely have your swordcav die in vain. Counters in 0 AD give units an advantage in a fight but numbers count more in 0 AD than they do in aoe3. That's why melee cav for all civ wouldn't be broken. 10 melee cav in 0 AD aren't going to beat 10 ranged units cost-efficiently if those ranged units can get a few volleys off before the melee cav engage. Use the CC to cover the RI and you could probably hold against melee cav very easily.

E: also worth mentioning is that all units are going to be reworked by the way. can't go into details because i don't know them myself, but basically the way fights work will be dictacted as much as the formations/position you use as they will by actual unit stats. i think counters in this game will get a nerf and units will be reworked in consquence. think the phalanx bug, but fixed

Edited by iNcog
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well thing is it would break historic accuracy in favor of balance, which I don't think is the aim of the project. Unless you can prove that every civ had this kind of units. Moreover, that would add pressure onto the art team, that you may not know but is really reduced, and has a lot of tasks to do already ;(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
it would break historic accuracy in favor of balance

That's what I also fear. There is nothing more important than historical accuracy. That's why I think even buildings should not be forced into a size / footprint pattern. i.e. if the chinese castle was big in reality, well then it's big. It should not be made less big only for game reasons as historical accuracy is what 0AD is all about. I know fun is also a goal of 0ad but isn't it fun to have a pitched battle of past civilizations like they really were, not like we make them to make it more balanced.

If historical accuracy guides us (and we can get the soft counters right, like iNcog said), then I think our time machine 0AD will be great fun. :)


If you choose a random civ and get a less strong one then it'll still be fun as you could reach the impossible by extraordinary tactics and last-hope manoevres. Still a lot of fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if the goal is to recreate history then I guess do whatever ^^

However if you're looking to make an enjoyable game you're going to have to bend historical accuracy here and there. I realize historical accuracy is important in 0 AD and even more important for some people; however you have to draw a line somewhere.

Humans and horses are already way bigger than they should be compared to buildings, things like supply lines, food, money, trade and whatnot aren't really modeled. Even the best simulation is an interpretation of reality, it can't be perfectly spot on. In 0 AD you'll probably get fights that never occurred, like Celts vs Mauryans.

In terms of actual game design, some concessions need to be made to history. I'm not saying disregard history, I'm just saying that history shouldn't get in the way of good game design. It's best to find a compromise between both instead of giving one priority over the other.

For the record, I think the best course of action right now would be to >simply< switch skirm cav with melee cav for every civ in the tech tree, without doing a radical change like giving romans/iberians spear infantry in age 1. I don't think that melee cav are strong enough to be as effective as skirmcav if you do a melee cav rush. This is where theory needs to stop and actual play-testing needs to take its place. I believe, but I'm not certain, that ranged infantry with the CC can fend off melee cav rushes. If it really turns out that civs without spear infantry in age 1 can't fend off melee cav rush, then perhaps it would be time to look into deeper changes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if the goal is to recreate history then I guess do whatever ^^

However if you're looking to make an enjoyable game you're going to have to bend historical accuracy here and there. I realize historical accuracy is important in 0 AD and even more important for some people; however you have to draw a line somewhere.

Humans and horses are already way bigger than they should be compared to buildings, things like supply lines, food, money, trade and whatnot aren't really modeled. Even the best simulation is an interpretation of reality, it can't be perfectly spot on. In 0 AD you'll probably get fights that never occurred, like Celts vs Mauryans.

In terms of actual game design, some concessions need to be made to history. I'm not saying disregard history, I'm just saying that history shouldn't get in the way of good game design. It's best to find a compromise between both instead of giving one priority over the other.

For the record, I think the best course of action right now would be to >simply< switch skirm cav with melee cav for every civ in the tech tree, without doing a radical change like giving romans/iberians spear infantry in age 1. I don't think that melee cav are strong enough to be as effective as skirmcav if you do a melee cav rush. This is where theory needs to stop and actual play-testing needs to take its place. I believe, but I'm not certain, that ranged infantry with the CC can fend off melee cav rushes. If it really turns out that civs without spear infantry in age 1 can't fend off melee cav rush, then perhaps it would be time to look into deeper changes.

It's also my understanding that the changes proposed by alpha123 would make the swordsman and spearman largely identical in Village Phase, differentiating them later in Town and City phases. If this happens (IMHO it's a very good idea), then it would mitigate or outright solve the problem regarding the Romans and Iberians. I didn't have any historical justification for making the swordsman a tier 1 unit for the Iberians. I did it to make them more unique. I knew it would cause balance issues, but I had faith the team could solve them. Now, for the Romans, historically the sworsdman was the first-line and main infantry unit for them. I can't really see any historical justification for making the Triarius (Roman spearman) their tier 1 melee infantry unit, since the Triarius was a highly armored and experienced veteran. But if alpha123's changes are implemented, then the issue would be moot and the Hastatus can remain the tier 1 melee infantry for the Romans with no problem.

Edited by Mythos_Ruler
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So basically in Age 1, Swordsmen and Spearmen would be basically the same unit, upon getting to Age 2, they become different. I'm guessing this would be done via upgrades? Like in AoC? That's actually a pretty interesting idea, it would certainly be a sort of compromise between history and design.

If you fire up google and do some research, apparently Hastati originally fought with spears anyway: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hastati

So you could actually do an interesting upgrade change, something along these lines for Romans for example: in Age 1, Hastati are spear-men. In Age 2, with upgrade, they become swordsmen. You could do the same with Iberians or most civs really. All melee infantry use spears in age 1 and you get access to swordsmen in age 2. Well, that's just a mild suggestion, for Romans only since all the other civs have the spear infantry "needed" to deal with melee cav. Either way, I think that melee cav rushes aren't going to be good enough anymore to warrant actually doing. Unless it's melee cav "rush" with 5 cav and then you switch back into a normal play-style.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Scythetwirler's balancing branch, he made ranged cavalry a bit less effective by increasing the range of the CC and making javelineers more effective against them. Because infantry javelins are easier to build, I could often defend myself by building them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you think about it, I think all factions in real life were balanced. I mean if they weren't the world would be roman.

I agree with auron, if countries become too big and powerful then strange things happen, e.g. the system gets marode and falls apart due to differences or subdued and enemy peoples - usually arch enemenies - forge a joint alliance to bring the powerful empire to an abrupt fall once time has come.

Civs were always unbalanced though technology spread quickly in especially war- and perhaps also peacetimes.

Example: 30 years war: farmers vs. invading + own armies (as all was a mess).

It was imbalance pure, no matter if the farmers were many many more. They were more but they were also easier to trick because they had no war experience (what finally was their doom, e.g. when a scandinavian + north german army had to deal with very huge farmer-armies, they simply told them they'd get what they want if they would dissolve or at least give the city free, i.e. leave their good strategic position. The poor people of course thought this was a gamechanger and now the enemy had understood them. At least they thought they should try to trust and see what happens as it's better to die (as surely many many of the really ill-equiped farmers, some using sickles for fighting, had to die should the army really try to capture the city despite those huge amounts of farmers.

Now the problem was, it was all a strategic move of the enemy and all the farmers were hunted down once they had left their strategic position and partly dissolved in sub-armies. The same strategy which was so fruitful against Napoleon so to say.)).


Switching ranged and melee cavalry sounds reasonable, the balance changes in the branches you mention also sound as if they could address further problems (if any arise).

@iNcog: You are right, there has to be a compromise. Though generally I wish to have a time machine, that's what is fascinating me, not the playing thingy. But that's a personal view. If one wishes to 'play a game' then your arguments are very valid indeed and a compromise should be well considered. It's all about personal taste. (I think 0AD is indeed going this route as unit sizes are inconsistent with historical accuracy, nevertheless the supply lines are generally planned. I hope your are not angry at my time machine dream.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Hidden by Radagast., June 23, 2014 -
Hidden by Radagast., June 23, 2014 -

btw. MYTHOS !!!

Share this post


Link to post

I'd suggest something slightly different (not something new, just better justification). Keep spearmen and swordsmen different, and just give spearmen to every civ in village phase along with melee cav. Romans actually have a pretty good justification for starting with spearmen. Since the Marian reforms are implemented now and they aren't simply the 2nd Punic War Romans anymore, you can include earlier fighting styles as well. Like Roman "Hoplites" from before the manipular system, or early Principes/Hastati with spears (they switched to swords around the 1st Punic War I think, and even Hasta means spear if I recall right). Or rank 1 Triarii could represent Roman Hoplites since they would mostly be the middle to high class citizens anyway. Or a "pre-rank" of Triarii being the hoplites, then being replaced by Triarii upon reaching town phase.

This system might also need balance by giving all civs only skirmishers (or only archers) and the same with spear/sword cavalry, since those units have different roles and might break balance as well.

Edited by Prodigal Son

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Hephaestion, the more the game is close to history, the better. I like the historical aspect myself, I'm a big sucker for games that try to reflect reality. So I really agree with your sentiment.

I've been asking around and sent PMs to both Mythos and alpha123, to be honest the way units work as of right now is going to be changed in a big way. If our friend alpha123 manages to get a working unit set without hard-counters, it would be entirely possible to have some civs simply not have a certain unit type. This would be a big buff to history in the game (since some civs didn't have some types of soldiers) and it would also make the game much more unique than it currently is. It would be taking another step away from AoE. It would still be possible to maintain balance as well.

I've asked for details about the changes and I think it's actually possible for it to work. Hard-counters will be gone and units will be different through their inherent design instead of what multipliers they have. However, these changes (at least what I'm reading on paper) are really huge and it's possible that the community wouldn't be happy with the changes at first (since they're really, really big).

If such changes go through then the current discussion we're having can go out the window since everything will be reset. I'll say it again though, I think the redesign that is proposed by alpha123 can definitely work.

Edited by iNcog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember something like the combat system you describe from a discussion with Mythos and I'm definitely for it. It can be refreshing, accurate and balanced if it turns out good, and besides total war which is partly a different genre I think no game has done this right. However if it takes too much time to come along, a simple balance fix could work for the next alpha or two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hard counters always are to be avoided as it's even yet another parameter to balance (additionally to the soft counters). That's why I'm also an advocate of soft counters. That'd be more realistic too.

Nevertheless omitting unit types is already possible. Not sure if some simulation components might throw errors but generally it's possible (the Assyrians won't have a swordsman e.g., therefore they are excellent for testing secondary weapons as the spearmen use both spear + sword. But this is music of the future.)

Thanks iNcog for the endless effort to drive our visions forward. Our community in general excels at ideas. That's another fascinating part of 0AD.

Edited by Hephaestion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hard counters is actually a great way to have unique units that work while keeping balance in check; age of empires 3 and medieval total war 1 are prime examples of this.

One of the biggest reasons people dislike hard counters (I have seen this on starcraft forums especially) is that they believe they can only mass a single unit type. The thing is that if your counters are hard enough, like they are in Aoe3, you basically have to go for at least 3 different unit types to complete the counter circle. It becomes unit composition against unit composition instead of unit vs unit.

This would make some particularly fun micro battles; in aoe3 it's impossible to win a game if you don't micro properly, because you HAVE to babysit units so they're positioned properly.

In 0 AD this is kind of what we have, but not really. Ranged units in this game are king since they have such high dps and counters in this game are much softer than they are in Aoe3. So to make units work (i.e. nerf ranged units and make other units more viable; everyone complains about skirm cav but ranged infantry are really stronger than melee infantry as well) you'd have to either harden counters or change unit stats so that those are what define the unit. The current approach of the redesign is the latter: multipliers will be mostly gone and units are defined in other ways.

A simple example of this would be to give melee infantry much higher dps and HP than their ranged counterparts (get rid of multipliers). With their range, ranged infantry would inherently soft-counter melee infantry thanks to their range. However ranged infantry caught in a melee fight with melee infantry would lose quite hard. It's all about positioning, if the ranged infantry is properly placed, then it'll do damage and be an asset to your army. The real thing that would make ranged infantry worth it is their range, not their dps. Ranged infantry would serve more as a support unit to melee units rather than being the actual backbone of your army. This is a simple example of how you could make units unique without using multipliers. Balance is done by adjusting HP and / or dps so that units are just strong enough to fill their niche role (ranged support for example) without breaking the system.

This is a different approach to what's currently in the game. Doing this approach would also have cavalry skirmishers be closer to what Tango suggested in the thread: they would get a nerf of stats but their design (fast ranged unit) would allow them to continue to have a role in the military. You could lower for example their dps so that it's much lower than that of ranged infantry. This would ranged cavalry a poor choice for an army's "backbone", however ranged cav would excel at harass, since they can do damage with relative impunity against melee units, economic units, support units and retreating units. Ranged cav would have to avoid large groups of ranged infantry though, as well as melee cavalry. In a straight up fight, an army with an emphasis on ranged cav will be weaker overall than an army with an emphasis on melee infantry. So again, ranged cav would get a specialized role, but other units have to be considered as well if you want a well-rounded army.

Other examples include things like armor being stronger in the front of the unit than in the back. This would mean that flanking would become one of the ways to win battles. Formations will also get a bigger role in fights than before. That sort of thing. Multipliers would be gone though, except for a few units like spear men, which retain their bonus against cavalry (and rightly so).

Edited by iNcog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'm still convinced that increase cav pop from 1 to 2 would be really benefits

indeed actually, the problem with skirm cav is that they're op, and can be producted very fast

if 1 cav take 2 pop in your globally pop, the skirm cav ruh will be retarded (cause you'll need more houses), so it lt time to your opponent to build a better eco, and so defend better

moreover, if skirm cav take 2 pop per unit, the counter skirm inf > skirm cav will be really better respected, because you'll have 2 skirm inf against 1 skirm cav. it will be more balanced.

If to this "solution", you add a little increased cost for skirm cav, the balance would be better again.

About Incog's idea about balancing, i think you played aoe3 too much incog, and your gameplay ( i saw your vids) is aoe3 gameplay, not 0ad gameplay ^^

indeed, aoe3 was just a war game, 0ad is an historical war game.

So, in aoe3, counters were really op. not really true in the reality: e.g : in aoe3, with a fast age3, if you product something as 10 french cuirassiers, you can defeat easily something as 50 or 75 strelets... wtf, where's the reality? nowhere.

so, the counter balance in 0ad is better than in aoe3-> idk, i'm one of these strelets, i try to put the cuirassier down of his horse to kill him, instead of shoot at him to damage him almost not at all..

so i mean, actual 0ad coutners are all ok, except for skirm cav (but i bring a potential solution).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You refer to Star Craft 2 as just 'Star Craft' when in fact Brood War and it's successor are two completely different games with different ever-evolving communities. In Brood War's community the idea of what hard counters should be I feel is more understood and well known. It is about being able to adapt to your opponent's strategy. "Oh they built a good amount of zerglings, let me go make some Vultures". Yet if you leave the Vultures to fend for themselves then they will die. That's why you need micro of your Vultures to hard counter the Zerglings. One decision I find to be very controversial for me personally is the decision to add in an ai that micros your skirmishers for you in battles. Tank goodness I still need to constantly look to see whether that barracks I'm harassing just produced soldiers to attack them or else risk losing a couple guys before I see that my units pretty much ignored this fact.

In fact, Skirm Cav now completely counter Spearmen because of this auto-micro. I spent a game yesterday just watching auto-micro of ~20-50(made more over time) completely destroy army of spearmen after army of spearmen.

The truth is that we just need something like for Spearmen to run-charge at those on horseback to counter them. Otherwise they are just way too slow.

Just my 2 cents.

Edited by 3FFA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×