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Hannibal_Barca

Suggestions on Unit Balancing for A22

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Hi, after playing 0ad for quite a while now I've noticed that a few units could do with some adjustments.

1)Spear Cavalry(citizens)

These units are basically only good for molesting women and harassing small numbers of ranged units. They utterly fail in defending themselves vs their fellow skirmisher or sword counterparts, due to their extremely slow attack. While riding and fighting with a lance may be cumbersome, it still doesn't justify their snail-like attack. Light cavalry (their armour is minimal) are known for being fast(which they are) and for a reasonably fast attack due to the lack of cumbersome equipment like heavy weapons/armour.

Currently these are the cavalry statisitics:   

                                        Spear Cavalry                                                  Skirmisher Cavalry                                      Sword Cavalry

  • Attack:              6H(hack) 13P(pierce)      /3.5s (seconds)               20P        /1.25s                                       6.5H       / 0.75s
  • Armour:            4H 3P 15C(crush)                                                   3H  1P  15C                                             4H  2P  15C
  • Walk Speed:              22                                                                        17.5                                                            20

Seeing that, spear cavalry has the best speed and armour but worst attack by far.

Spear Cavalry shouldn't really be much faster than Sword Cavalry, since it is arguably harder to ride while carrying a lance than a sword.

What i would suggest for this unit: 3seconds attack speed but 21 walk speed (currently they are already very efficient vs women due to speed, no need to make it much worse)

 

2)War dogs

While we all agree that war dogs and kennels are a fine decoration in the Structure Tree, nobody ever really uses them. They are weak with a tiny vision range, they can't attack buildings (but somehow can attack siege, although it is hard to imagine a dog destroying a catapult) and they got a low attack bad armour combo.

Also, kennels cost 200metal 50stone and 50 wood. Why do they cost so much metal??

War dogs were used by the Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Sarmatians, Baganda, Alans, Slavs, Britons, and the Romans. Historically, they were formidable foes, useful for breaking enemy ranks to be followed up by an attack composing of other units.

 

In my opinion, these hardly-ever used beasts could use a buff in armour and/or in attack. Also, kennel costs should maybe be 200 stone 50 metal and 50 wood instead.

(Replay in which @Grugnas used war dogs in quantity but lost them almost instantly and causing few casualties is attached at the end of the post.)

 

3)Pikemen

Pikemen, the weakest, slowest and most armoured units in the game. Amazingly, even the lumbering Siege Tower (would-be slowest unit) is faster than our slow friends here. Their champion version reaches a phenomenal speed of 7 (0.5 faster than Seige Tower and same speed as catapults or bolt-shooters). They have a hack attack of 1 and a pierce attack of 3 for every 2 seconds.

Although their high armour makes them valuable "tank" units, they are too slow to be used in a battle in which maneuverability is needed. Due to their exceedingly low attack, even their 3x bonus vs. cavalry doesn't help them at all, cavalry (other than spear ones) can kill them easily.

The difference between champion and citizen speed is just 1, while in other cases it is usually 3.

What I would suggest is to make them as fast as catapults (7) and their champion kin to have a decent 9-10 speed, also to give them a 5x bonus vs cavalry (who they should rightfully skewer on those long pikes of theirs).

Currently their slowness is extremely unrealistic I think.

 

And finally...

4)Archer Elephants

These units bear a great similarity to horse archers and have matching statistics in all but 1 point - speed. Horse archers have a speed of 17.5 while these are stuck at 8.5 (less than half)

All through Alphas 18-21 these units have for sure never been used to much effect. They are slow(as mentioned above), bulky and low in armour (like horse archers).

While I agree that their speed is realistic, I think this unit could use extra armour/attack/HP (note that their hp is 120) to compensate for it and to make some people decide to use them.

 

 

7_players_ffa.zip

Edited by Hannibal_Barca
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1. spear cavalry: buff armour, and do critical hit only the first hit with a seconds to recharge the critical hit.(i think is planned to do "charge" for them), about speed : for slow to fast 

spear cav <sword cav<skirmisher  cav

2. dont know how to improve this

3.pikemen need x5 against cavalry (it could be tested) x6 if is needed

4.archers elephants must to have around 300 hp

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  1. Since Spear Cavs are limited to Raiding Women and Traders, maybe have other factions get other types of Cavalry instead of rebalancing them?
  2. My suggestion would be similar to a Red Alert 2 Attack Dog: Insta-bite any infantry but also gets insta-killed by arrows.
  3. I dunno. Pikemen should only be slower when inside a formation?
  4. Two features I'm waiting for before proceeding with war elephants: Trample Damage, & Turret (You know. I think even Persians will gain the "Parthian Shot" technology.)
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1. I like this change for now, but think he should be more skillful. Maybe Pierce (7) (also would not kill women instantly as it is happening) Atack Speed (2) (With faster attack it would make it easier to micro) I agree on walkspeed 21.

2. I would like to see them in 2/2 or 3/3 armor, but that would be strange because have many quick units with 1/1 of armor, so why would a dog with no armor be more realist?

In fact these hounds were slow, but strong and large, and almost always had armor, so I would like to see new models with armor, so we can increase their armor to 2/2 or 3/3.

While we have no new models, we can increase you hp for 120.

 kennels 200w, 50s, 50m, seems more realistc for me.

3. They certainly need a speed bonus. I'd rather increase its overall damage, instead of just giving more bonus against cavalry. hack dmg 2

4. Need increase hp for 300 or 400.

Edited by borg-
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I was thinking to swap Sword Cavalry (from 20 to 21 considering the spear cavalry walk speed reduction that @Hannibal_Barca proposed) and Spear Cavalry walk speed (down to 20) in order to make Spear Cavalry less effective at women raids expecially in phase 1, manteining coherence with their infantry counterpart and give an attack multiplier bonus to spear cavalry in order to be more effective vs other cavalry classes despite its low attack rate.

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Attached here is a patch with few proposed changes which include:

Cavalry Spear attack rate reduced from 3,5 sec to 3 sec

Cavalry Spear has now a 1,25x bonus against cavalry units

Cavalry Spear Walk Speed reduced from 22 to 20

Cavalry Sword Wak Speed increased from 20 to 21

Infantry Pikemen Walk Speed increased from 6 to 7

Infantry Pikemen hack and pierce damage increased by 0.5

Champion Infantry Pikemen hack and pierce damage increased by 1

Champion Infantry Pikemen Walk Speed increased from 7 to 10

Wardog hack damage increased from 7 to 10

Chamion Infantry Spearman attack rate increased from 0.75 to 0.90 sec

War Elephant Health Points reduced from 750 to 700

Mauryan Archer Elephant Health Points increased by 100

Mauryan Archer Elephant Cost Increased by 50 food (now it costs 150f  50w)

Hero Infantry Spearman attack rate fixed to fit the new attack rate

Hero Spearman Cavalry fixed to fit the new changes

Hero Sword Cavalry attack rate reduced from 1 sec to 0,75 sec

 

 

balance.patch

Edited by Grugnas
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3 hours ago, Grugnas said:

Attached here is a patch with few proposed changes which include:

Cavalry Spear attack rate reduced from 3,5 sec to 3 sec

Cavalry Spear has now a 1,25x bonus against cavalry units

Cavalry Spear Walk Speed reduced from 22 to 20

Cavalry Sword Wak Speed increased from 20 to 21

Infantry Pikemen Walk Speed increased from 6 to 7 <==== Definitely needed.

Infantry Pikemen hack and pierce damage increased by 0.5

Champion Infantry Pikemen hack and pierce damage increased by 1        <===== Good to have.

Champion Infantry Pikemen Walk Speed increased from 7 to 10                <===== Maybe 9 is enough.

Wardog hack damage increased from 7 to 10                      <===== Needed.

Chamion Infantry Spearman attack rate increased from 0.75 to 0.90 sec     <======== Can't we find a more elegant solution for this one? Maybe nerf spear armour.

War Elephant Health Points reduced from 750 to 700        <=========== Really disagree with this one, elephants aren't that strong, nerfing them is not called for.

Mauryan Archer Elephant Health Points increased by 100

Mauryan Archer Elephant Cost Increased by 50 food (now it costs 150f  50w)

Hero Infantry Spearman attack rate fixed to fit the new attack rate

Hero Spearman Cavalry fixed to fit the new changes 

Hero Sword Cavalry attack rate reduced from 1 sec to 0,75 sec

 

 

balance.patch

 

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43 minutes ago, Hannibal_Barca said:

Champion Infantry Pikemen Walk Speed increased from 7 to 10                <===== Maybe 9 is enough.

there is a 3 movement speed difference between champions and normal units, they will still be the slower champion units. That extra movement will make placement decisions easier to perform while defending support units.

Chamion Infantry Spearman attack rate increased from 0.75 to 0.90 sec     <======== Can't we find a more elegant solution for this one? Maybe nerf spear armour.

An armor nerf would make them equal to sword but with extra damage to cavalry, and considering that one of the spearmen champs role is to face champion cavalry which has high damage, this was the best solution

War Elephant Health Points reduced from 750 to 700        <=========== Really disagree with this one, elephants aren't that strong, nerfing them is not called for.

An elephant who attacks a full garrisoned fortress with a couple of towers as support still deals relevant damages and still keeps busy units while there is a support army clearing its way

 

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In late game some players really "turtle" up, nerfing elephants will make them even harder to kill.

Elephants are already really weak to skirmisher arrows and garisonned buildings, they can be countered, they aren't op. Remember, nerfing elephants will encourage players to sped those resources on champ spam and that's exactly what we don't want.

Edited by Hannibal_Barca

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Pikemen definitely need a buff. I made some 1v1 tests on svn ( with a hack attack of 1 and a pierce attack of 3 ) and here are the results :

Spear infantry wins against pike ( and have 37 hp left  out of 100)

skirm infantry wins (14hp/50)

slinger wins (4/50)

skirm cav wins (16/120)

sword cav loses (pike got promoted and have 15/120 hp)

spear cav loses (pike got promoted and have 37/120 hp)

 

didn't try archer nor sword infantry.

For ranged units, they started to fire before pikes could reach them.

 

So clearly, even if pikes, with their slow pace, can reach ennemy units, they don't deal much damage : spear infantry still destroy them, and even ranged infantry units can win when pikes are in melee with them ... (on the other hand, in 1v1, if spear attack skirm infantry for example spear will win convincingly)

Not only that, even if pikes naturally win against sword and spear cav ... they still lose against skirm cav ! What an useless unit, but anyway it can't possibly reach cav..

So the only advantage pikes can claim is tanking fire ... But even with less armour, spear infantry do that job very well too, as they also deal relevant damages.

And finally, pike infantry champs aren't used in pro games for obvious reasons.

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