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Good Players usually say "No Walls" in the Multiplayer Lobby


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Good players in the multiplayer lobby, of which I am one, usually say "No Walls" at the start of the game.  It's a common convention that most players agree on and often mutually assume even when it isn't said, due to how imbalanced walls are.  As a result, instead of whatever the intended game use of walls is, walls are virtually never used competitively.  The exception to this would be the Iberian starting walls, which are considered OK, but even the Iberian player is expected not to rebuild his starting walls if they are destroyed.

I'd like to go over some of the reasons good players say "no walls."

Walls are too cheap.  A fortress costs far more than a wall, but has similar HP and armor.  A fortress is actually more vulnerable than a wall is because it has more surface area to attack, and can be captured instead of destroyed, and can't be repaired as fast as a wall can.  Realistically the price of walls doesn't make sense because in real life a fortress is little more than a series of walls and turrets surrounding a small area.

You can waste hundreds of champions against a wall-fortified position manned only by civilian soldiers, without breaking it.  The same number of champions would be sufficient to capture many CCs and fortresses, and indeed kill a player who should have been dead long ago.  I have personally been in a game in which my opponent heavily fortified a narrow pass with many walls, turrets, siege catapults, and a fortress, and it was literally impossible to take using Briton technology which has only rams for siege.  The opponent could easily destroy any rams I sent with his catapults or sending out a few cavalry champions, and any brythonic longswords I sent died to the turret and fortress arrows without making a dent in the walls, which were quickly repaired.  570 champions and many siege rams died over 2 hours for almost no progress and we had to call it a draw.  Other good players have reported similar experiences.

That was an extreme case, but even in less extreme cases, walls make it unreasonably easy to fortify a position.  It takes a large force of champions to capture a fortress or CC.  But if you surround the fortress or CC with walls, for a minimal cost, the fortress is immediately 5x harder to take.  You can even delete the wall turrets if you want before building them, so that the stone cost of protecting a fortress like this is under 100.

Siege should solve the problem, right?  Not quite.  Siege is very slow and cumbersome with poor pathing.  Siege is extremely easy to destroy if you get some melee attackers over to it.  And here's the kicker:  walls can be repaired faster than siege can damage them!  The low cost and quick build time of walls translates into a very fast repair time, so that even if you have a couple of rams bashing at the wall, citizen soldiers on the other side can prevent it from going down.

Defense towers have a minimum spacing, and for good reason, to give the attacker a chance.  Wall turrets have no minimum spacing and can be packed very densely.  Individually they are stronger than defense towers because they have longer range, are five times as durable, and can't be captured.  If you pack 10 or 20 wall turrets into a small area and upgrade them, that area becomes a meat grinder that cannot be taken unless your opponent has a vastly superior force and you should have been dead long ago.

Walls allow a losing player to draw out the game for potentially hours.

In conclusion, walls are too strong and unless they are seriously nerfed, good players will continue to agree not to use them.

I don't have all the answers for exactly how they should be nerfed.  The purpose of this post is to call to attention how serious this balance issue is, not to propose something that would definitely fix it.  I do have some possible suggestions.  A minimum spacing between wall turrets would be very nice, and generally giving walls worse stats, much slower repair rate, and making them more expensive would help as well.  Giving siege units a 5x or 10x damage bonus against walls and wall turrets would help, too.  What changes do you think would be best?

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I don't know about multiplayer, but in skirmish, I find walls to be somewhat difficult to use, to both block off choke points alongside the terrain and rebuild, especially when an end or corner wall tower is destroyed. This has always been a problem for me beyond just 0 A.D., since AI often attack end or corner wall towers, going back to both the Battle for Middle-earth and Age of Empires. Of course, I don't generally need walls anyway, since garrisoned fortresses do great work without a wall and AI is notorious for not being very effective at conducting a siege.

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Funny enough I posted in a similar thread talking about how walls are pretty balanced. And although my main stance on the matter has not really changed when concerning one wall vs an army, there is a "hidden method" which really makes them OP. The method takes advantage of the fact that you can spam wall turrets extremely close to each other, and since the defence tower upgrades affect the wall turrets, it is extremely OP. Here is a screenshot of the first match where I had ever used that technique, i had been rushed pretty early in the game, and I couldn't be bothered to build up again, so i decided to try out something which I had theorised previously (I had used it in a small scale before) both of my teammates had to go, so it was a 3v1 situation, the game lasted hours, I made 2 of the enemies rq since they had lost so many troops, one eventually beat me by using catapults, since I was basically AFK and could not be bothered to build units.

Notice the number of champions killed in the third screenshot.

6CLTZp9.jpg

VIsLNIC.png

02koJIK.jpg

I do not use this method anymore as it is simply over powered, and if you actually produce units you are unbeatable. However one of my friends uses it a lot and has perfected it pretty well, and it annoys people XD.

So yeah in my opinion a the walls themselves are not over powered, its just the fact that you can spam them.

Devs, please fix.

Edited by Mr.Monkey
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That's a good picture, Mr. Monkey.

Here's the picture of the impenetrable fortress I mentioned that killed 570 of my champs, made by Finch.  The fortress and military colony are fully garrisoned.  I consider this position literally impossible to destroy using Briton technology, because siege rams can only approach one at a time due to the trees and there are plenty of arrows to quickly slaughter any champions.  Note the multiple catapults (I count 5 catapults at this point in the game) which will quickly snipe any siege ram that makes it to the wall.  The defending player, Finch, also had some cavalry champions of his own to help mop up.  The game had become a 2v1 and together we couldn't break his walls.  My ally (mapkoc) was Mauryans, and maybe massed Yoddha could have done something, but then again maybe not.

If my civ could make catapults (Britons and Mauryans cannot) it's possible I could have done something.  However, the defender, Finch, did have his own cavalry champions which are excellent for killing catapults.  Consider that wall turret range is greater than catapult range.  Finch also could have simply repaired his walls faster than a bunch of catapults could damage them, since catapults deal damage very slowly.

Also note that these walls look sort of "normal," and yet if I sent in 50 brythonic longswords they would all quickly be slaughtered by the turrets and fortress/colony without making progress.

kkPG0wj.jpg

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If siege units dealt 10x counter damage to walls and wall turrets (similar to the 3x counter damage for pikemen vs cavalry) so they could take out walls in a couple of hits, I think that would be more balanced.  They could still deal their normal damage of 150 against other units and buildings.  Siege is really hard to maneuver into position and keep alive, and then they don't really deal damage that fast.  In most multiplayer games, siege is used little due to those reasons; bases are usually captured using massed champions.  So siege could use a massive buff to damage against walls, and then both walls and siege would be used, and both would be more balanced.

Edited by causative
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11 hours ago, causative said:

If siege units dealt 10x counter damage to walls and wall turrets (similar to the 3x counter damage for pikemen vs cavalry) so they could take out walls in a couple of hits, I think that would be more balanced.  They could still deal their normal damage of 150 against other units and buildings.  Siege is really hard to maneuver into position and keep alive, and then they don't really deal damage that fast.  In most multiplayer games, siege is used little due to those reasons; bases are usually captured using massed champions.  So siege could use a massive buff to damage against walls, and then both walls and siege would be used, and both would be more balanced.

Then there would be no use to build walls. 2 hits?

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2 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Then there would be no use to build walls. 2 hits?

The purpose of walls under this change would be to force your opponent to get siege weapons and maneuver them into position - which takes a long time - instead of simply swarming you with 100 champions.  If this change were made and then good players agreed that walls are OK, I would definitely encircle every fortress and CC I own with walls.   I don't think 2 hits is unreasonable considering the vulnerability, slowness, and poor pathing of siege engines.

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27 minutes ago, causative said:

The purpose of walls under this change would be to force your opponent to get siege weapons and maneuver them into position - which takes a long time - instead of simply swarming you with 100 champions.  If this change were made and then good players agreed that walls are OK, I would definitely encircle every fortress and CC I own with walls.   I don't think 2 hits is unreasonable considering the vulnerability, slowness, and poor pathing of siege engines.

Siege engine pathfinding should be fixed. Think comprehensive solution. Also think complete round game design. Also, fix armor ratios of siege engines and range distance of towers, fortress, etc.

IMHO, there should be a murder range, sweet spot, where towrrs and fortress are really devastating. But beyond and under that range they are vulnerable. Can have upgrades to reduce min range and incrwase max distance, but still the concept remain.

 

Lookingh at TRAC and possible changes for Alpha 21, I see some gameplay changes coming. I can't imagine the team want scripting and UI fixes to be focus of 3 alphas in a row.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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If siege pathing was fixed, they'd still be vulnerable and slow, they'd just require less micromanagement.  I'd still make walls around my fortresses and CCs (and trade routes) if siege pathing was fixed, siege killed a wall in 2 hits, and players accepted walls as OK.  It would still be worth the small cost to prevent invasion by massed champions alone.

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8 minutes ago, causative said:

If siege pathing was fixed, they'd still be vulnerable and slow, they'd just require less micromanagement.  I'd still make walls around my fortresses and CCs (and trade routes) if siege pathing was fixed, siege killed a wall in 2 hits, and players accepted walls as OK.  It would still be worth the small cost to prevent invasion by massed champions alone.

Cost, build time, and all that stuff for Walls is not set in stone (harhar). It could very well be that cost be increase or building time or combo of both that can balance the time and resource necessary to build walls. I can also see maybe increase siege effectoveness to walls, but 2 hits is outrageous, consider that building walls right now is a pain in the @#$% too because of pathing. It is difficult to say this or that should be done when pathing for these things are not optimize. We do not know the balance of cost, build time, and management (HUUUUUGE consideration, a cost itself) of these things in the end yet.

 

Remember you are play a game still in ALPHA stage.

 

 

PS: I enjoy spirited discussion so do not take offense.


EDIT: Also condider the possibiluty of making walls cheap and weak in the beginning, but if player want strong walls, then uber walls, they have to PAY for it with technology upgrades. Game is very short on these right now. Think outside the box, brother.

 

EDIT2:

 

6CLTZp9.jpg

 

Make the Turrets expensive and take longer to build, but then make the curtains between them cheap and fast to build.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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19 minutes ago, causative said:

If walls were nerfed in many other ways then perhaps it wouldn't be necessary to have siege weapons deal so much damage to them.  Having siege weapons deal a lot of damage would be a way to make walls balanced in a single step.

Okay, so for instance

Public Mod have Wall Towers at:

  • 88 max range
  • 4 min range

This is reeeeally out there. Should be more like this:

  • 40 max range
  • 12 min range

 

So now you have distance that is deadly, but catapult out-range the towers and fast units can get under the towers minimum range without dying.

 

Then have a technology pair for the owner of the towers. Choose btween towers with no minimum range so they can hit soldiers at their base but not outrange siege. Or a tach that outrange siege but don't hit soldier at the base. One or the other, the defenseive player can't have both. right now, the defense player CAN have both. BTW -- paired technology was remove a couple of Alphas ago, but capability remain (see Delenda Est).

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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One might wonder why wall turrets that shoot even exist, considering they duplicate the function of defensive towers.  Britons have wall turrets that don't shoot or garrison.  Why not make all civs be like that?

That reminds me that Britons especially (or any race, if they don't care for the turrets) can simply delete their wall turrets before building them, and only build the connecting segments, resulting in a wall that is less than 30% as expensive.

Edited by causative
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21 minutes ago, causative said:

One might wonder why wall turrets that shoot even exist, considering they duplicate the function of defensive towers.  Britons have wall turrets that don't shoot or garrison.  Why not make all civs be like that?

Hmm, because walls should be defensive and wall tower have been historically places to shoot from. haha.  It's very siple to tweak their range like I suggest and then also maybe reduce their attack strength. It's not hard, but I don't think team has gameplay person on board.

 

21 minutes ago, causative said:

That reminds me that Britons especially (or any race, if they don't care for the turrets) can simply delete their wall turrets before building them, and only build the connecting segments, resulting in a wall that is less than 30% as expensive.

Thank you for reminder! I intedned to reduce these costs. ;)

 

EDIT:

I foget I also have this nerf for wall tower in Delenda Est:

 

      <Bonuses>
          <NerfSiege>
              <Classes>Siege</Classes>
              <Multiplier>0.75</Multiplier>
          </NerfSiege>
      </Bonuses>
    </Ranged>

 

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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