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Why do catapults can still attack people if people are invulnerable to them?


Sebastián Gómez
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If in this alpha, catapults were meant to be used against buildings only, why didn't you remove their ability to shoot at people? This is really annoying since the damage they can do to people is almost none. So now we can't even attack a single building when there's people around since the catapult will start firing at everyone but the building. Not to mention how slow they are for taking down any structure when you manage to make them focus on the building only.

 

Edited by Sebastián Gómez
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They don't look useless to me. If a ram reaches a building, swordsmen can be ungarrisoned and defend quickly. If an elephant approches a building, ranged units can be ungarrisoned and also defend rather quickly. The catapult is the only siege weapon which can take out key buildings from a save distance, inside the own fortified position.

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21 minutes ago, Player of 0AD said:

They don't look useless to me. If a ram reaches a building, swordsmen can be ungarrisoned and defend quickly. If an elephant approches a building, ranged units can be ungarrisoned and also defend rather quickly. The catapult is the only siege weapon which can take out key buildings from a save distance, inside the own fortified position.

You can u garrison archers and kill a catapult safely from a distance ...

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I agree that catapult need to be fixed. They were OP in A23, weak in A24 and A25. 

They were OP in A23 because they were effective at killing both infantry and buildings, with huge resistance to pierce damage. Catapult spam = unstoppable.

They were weak in A24 because, although they still had fair accuracy, archers could shoot them down easily without getting harmed themselves.

In A25 they are trash because they are not accurate at all and vulnerable to everything.

So we want them to be something between A23 and A24.

My proposal:

Boost accuracy:

spread = 2

Keep maximum range at 100 metres, but decrease minimum range to 30 metres.

Keep damage values the same as A25

Increase armour slightly so that they can finish their job before getting shot down.

Keep them ineffective against infantry; no splash damage. So that they have to take out infantry units 1 by 1 so not OP at all.

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Let me elaborate again since I think my point was not stated correctly.

Catapults are meant to be used against buildings. However, catapults try to shoot at people all the time. This is useless since in this alpha, the damage they can cause to people is almost none. So you end up with a catapult that is always shooting at people even after receiving the order to shoot at a building.

To better illustrate, imagine that in alpha 26, rams were given the ability to attack people too. Also imagine that the damage they could cause to people once they catch them was 0. With this setup you'd end up with rams that will be trying to catch people on the battlefield all the time instead of focusing on destroying buildings. Even worse is the fact that once a ram can catch someone, it won't kill it because, as I said, the damage the ram can cause is 0.

Well, this is happening to catapults right now. They try to catch people all the time. It doesn't make any sense since people is almost invulnerable to catapults.

So, if catapults were meant to be so useless again organic units in this alpha (and almost against buildings too), why didn't you take away the annoying fact that they try to catch people all the time? Why didn't you make them like rams, which only try to attack buildings. They don't waste time trying to catch people just to inflict 0 damage once they get them. It's the same with siege ships which right now suffer from the same problem. 

Edited by Sebastián Gómez
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Imagine a catapult being aimed at a building with lots of units standing in front. Depending on what is thrown at building and units, they will take damage. Units should not function as protective shield of an attacked building, IMO. If there is agreement that the current situation is not ideal, you could consider if units should take no or definitely more damage. I'm not sure if aiming at a building only should always only hit the building and no units in front, though.

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Situation #2:

You have an army made of soldiers and a couple of catapults. Your enemy suddenly attacks with a group of soldiers and a couple of rams. You would expect that your catapults get triggered by the rams and not the soldiers, so they would start shooting at the rams only as they approach. In this alpha, however, you'll get you catapults shooting like crazy to all directions, causing 0 damage to soldiers, and of course to rams since they didn't focus on the latter. 

 

Situation #3:

Your juggernaut ship is supposed to fight an enemy ship, but once again, it gets triggered by some enemy soldiers on the shore so it starts shooting at them instead on focusing on the unit it is meant to fight, which in this case is the enemy ship.

 

So from my perspective, banning catapults and stone throwing ships from attacking organic units, which they can't hurt anymore, would be the correct behavior. Just like rams. 

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23 minutes ago, Ceres said:

Units should not function as protective shield of an attacked building, IMO.

Agree. Unfortunately, this is happening right now. And to make it worse, the damage caused by catapults/siege ships to the enemy's army is 0. At least in A24 you could destroy soldiers with them.

So to sum up:

If catapults/siege ships won't cause any damage to organic units as they did in other alphas, there's no point in them being triggered by these units. This really make them ineffective, impossible to control, and at the end, useless.

Edited by Sebastián Gómez
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I'm not sure what happens in your situation @Sebastián Gómez, but catapults prefer to attack structures above units (i.e. if both a structure and a unit are in range when it unpacks, it will attack the structure) and they will just execute any order given to them by the player (e.g. if you tell them to attack a _structure_, it will do that when that structure is in range). That said, I guess one can add a small circulair splash damage to ensure it _hits_ an unit when it lands close enough (the projectiles are much larger than e.g. arrows, so it is justifiable).

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7 minutes ago, Freagarach said:

That said, I guess one can add a small circulair splash damage to ensure it _hits_ an unit when it lands close enough (the projectiles are much larger than e.g. arrows, so it is justifiable).

Note that splash damage was removed in A24. Bolt shooter was the only one able to keep it...

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1 minute ago, Stan` said:

Note that splash damage was removed in A24.

I think this is a good idea, otherwise catas are too OP. I just think they have been overnerfed in the past 2 alphas; now no one uses them. 

It should be able to deal huge damage to the unit that it hit, but only that 1 unit at a time. 

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3 hours ago, Yekaterina said:

I think this is a good idea, otherwise catas are too OP. I just think they have been overnerfed in the past 2 alphas; now no one uses them. 

It should be able to deal huge damage to the unit that it hit, but only that 1 unit at a time. 

Catas weren't too OP.  It was just a different strategy.  

If someone went mass catas they weren't mobile.  This means instead of attacking a strong point - the cats mass - then attack and destroy their base (packing/unpacking, chasing were impossible with catas.  To play catas well you either forced enemy to come to you by attacking a base or played slow with walls).  Afterwards destroy the catas and the units defending them.

Rams can't attack people and can't destroy farms.  It's unrealistic imo.  If a person got Infront of the barrel and get there is no reason why they wouldn't sustain damage.  If a farm is an object with structures on it then there is no reason why a the structures on the farm cannot be destroyed by a ram.

Additionally, if a catapult-ball were to shatter on impact and soldiers were nearby no reason why soldiers should be immune to such damage.

@Player of 0AD yes there is a range difference.  However it wouldn't prevent archers from killing a cata.  However, that range difference currently makes it possible for catapults to stealth-kill a base.  Imo, decrease range and add splash and make catas harder to kill for archers.

 

Edited by Dizaka
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3 hours ago, Yekaterina said:

now no one uses them. 

I think there are uses for them. I heard that someone said that mysticjim recently uploaded a legendary game where the winning player used a catapult.

5 hours ago, Yekaterina said:

Balancing advisors please tell me what you think:

Each unit should have advantages and disadvantages compared to other units. The most logical comparison is the ram. The ram has the disadvantage that is needs to expose itself and enter enemy territory. If a structure has garrisoned swordsmen, we are all familiar with the problem. The advantage of rams is that they destroy things faster. For catapults the story is reversed. The catapult does not deal damage as far but can do so from a safe distance. It would be unfair is the better unit is limited to a few factions and the ram seems to be the best of the two. Does the catapult have use cases? There are certainly moments when you can't approach a CC or fortress and you will choose to use a catapult. So from that perspective it is fine to me.

 

 

5 hours ago, maroder said:

they shouldn't be extremely vulnerable to archers

All the factions that get catapults do get means to defend them against archers, so I don't see the problem here.

Now on the organic units, I think this is not a catapult problem, but a crush damage problem. Crush damage is basically anti-building damage and organic units resist it very much. Macemen are not good in combat, simply because they do crush damage. I think organic units have to much crush armor. A catapult can destroy a sentry tower with 4 hits, wheres you need the same amount of hits to kill a melee cavalry. If I had to do a suggestion it would be: ranged citizen soldier to have 6 crush armor, melee citizen soldiers and ranged champions to get 9 and champion melee units to get 11. When the crush armor is reduced, other units also need to be re-balanced, most notably the elephants.

8 minutes ago, Dizaka said:

Additionally, if a catapult-ball were to shatter on impact and soldiers were nearby no reason why soldiers should be immune to such damage.

Did they shatter?

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1 hour ago, LetswaveaBook said:

I think there are uses for them. I heard that someone said that mysticjim recently uploaded a legendary game where the winning player used a catapult.

I once heard about someone winning an AOE game with a villager rush :D. Actually no one use catapults anymore as @Yekaterina said.

They do have been over nerfed to such extent that you can barely kill some soldiers or destroy a building. Anyway, maybe this will be reconsidered at some point.

 

Edited by Sebastián Gómez
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@LetswaveaBook

Alexander the Great (Macedonian) and Romans used it on infantry formations.  I'll get historical references later as on mobile.  But more than 'shattering' for debris damage they were intentionally used on infantry formations.

Maybe it can be unique to Macedonians and Romans. #savemacedonians

Edited by Dizaka
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@Player of 0AD but what you had in splash you lost in mobility.

Cata-heavy armies could be outmaneuvered.  As a cata-heavy army the disadvantage was you had to know when to unpack and not do it too early or too late.

Very few players could manage catas.  Most cata armies started appearing 16-18 mins into the game and that is only if you intentionally went cata.  Also, only 2 civs could do it (Rome/mace) due to arsenal/encampment as other civs would only be able to do it in the 20-23 min mark.

Also, catas are a good anti-snowballing measure.  Finally, they can be easily countered with cav.  Catas are not much worse than champ cav ...and with current metal availability plenty counters and better alternative strategies (e.g., champs) than catas.

Edited by Dizaka
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