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Ptolemies need nerfing


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A few games in the lobby showed that Ptolemies are way too OP as a civ. The eco bonus plus the strong military allowed it dominate any other civs in a 1v1 or TG. So it needs nerfing. Reasons why it is OP:

1. Cheap buildings -> saves wood -> faster boom. 

2. Early camel archers -> enemy cannot counter easily -> mess up enemy eco without slowing down your own. 

3. Easy mercenary spam with Ptolemaios A Soter

4. Pikes + ranged units OP.

5. Cleopatra and Ptolemaios H'Philopator are OP heroes. 

6. Food trickle 

7. Elephant army 

8. Library for cheaper tech -> even better eco and more space for champions / mercs.

9. Easy expansion with colonies. 

 

Suggested ways to nerf them:

1. Nerf heroes 

2. Nerf the agility of camel archers. Slower turning time and walk speed needed. 

3. No food trickle please, or half the current food trickle. 

 

Applying these nerfs will weaken their army strength and prevent them from having too much eco advantage. This should weaken them enough. 

Balancing advisors please tell me what you think. 

 

On a separate note, I think Kushites need a slight buff. 

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No. Ptol is one of many good civs. Ptol.

Watch the games with the most skilled players to see what is actually OP vs. well/poorly used in other games. Ptol, Carth, Gauls, Iber, Romans, Sparta, and Persians are all frequently played at more or less the same frequency indicating that ptol is in fact not OP. Other civs just need to get slightly better.

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2 hours ago, chrstgtr said:

No. Ptol is one of many good civs. Ptol.

Watch the games with the most skilled players to see what is actually OP vs. well/poorly used in other games. Ptol, Carth, Gauls, Iber, Romans, Sparta, and Persians are all frequently played at more or less the same frequency indicating that ptol is in fact not OP. Other civs just need to get slightly better.

I can agree with this. "Is there anything that can be done to buff the other slightly under powered civs?" is an equally valid or even better question. 

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2 hours ago, Yekaterina said:

2. Early camel archers -> enemy cannot counter easily -> mess up enemy eco without slowing down your own. 

To me it seems that they can be countered by any other cavalry because they are slower. And by archers & towers

2 hours ago, Yekaterina said:

 

3. Easy mercenary spam with Ptolemaios A Soter

That would mean that you would not use Cleopatra, why would you do that...

2 hours ago, Yekaterina said:

3. No food trickle please, or half the current food trickle. 

No. Some people say that for example the Iberian team bonus is better than this, and they might be right.

2 hours ago, Yekaterina said:

 

Balancing advisors please tell me what you think. 

Ptolemies are not too OP, for example they lack ranged champions and easy counter against siege and sword cavalry.

2 hours ago, Yekaterina said:

On a separate note, I think Kushites need a slight buff. 

Not necessarily. Strong pyramids, free starting healer, cheap elephants, decent heroes, pikemen, swordsmen, good champions. And then their mercenaries...

Overall conclusion: Dont change anything

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9 hours ago, Player of 0AD said:

Overall conclusion: Dont change anything

That opinion was expected for you ;P

 

9 hours ago, Player of 0AD said:

Ptolemies are not too OP, for example they lack ranged champions and easy counter against siege and sword cavalry.

How could you say that they lack an easy counter against siege if you mentioned it a few lines earlier? That counter is called Ptolemy soter and is available from the CC.

9 hours ago, Player of 0AD said:

No. Some people say that for example the Iberian team bonus is better than this, and they might be right.

The Iberian team bonus is the best team bonus there is. So you are possible comparing two things which are both OP. In a language that @Yekaterina understands if we have two values of infinity with one being bigger, thus ∞>∞, then it does not mean the right hand expression is small.

12 hours ago, Yekaterina said:

2. Early camel archers -> enemy cannot counter easily -> mess up enemy eco without slowing down your own. 

This is not true. They are best suited for hit and run tactics and stay on large range. The issue is that if you try to kill a women from 60 meters, you need like 20 arrows, because of inaccuracy. The inaccuracy really keeps them down. Also they are slower than Javelin cavalry. However with Ptolemies you can afford to build the stable early and get the +10% speed tech. I like to get this technology in my rushes, without it the rush feels very risky. I feel the camel rush is only feasible because of the strong economy. Nerfing them feels not needed to me.

12 hours ago, chrstgtr said:

Watch the games with the most skilled players to see what is actually OP vs. well/poorly used in other games. Ptol, Carth, Gauls, Iber, Romans, Sparta, and Persians are all frequently played at more or less the same frequency indicating that ptol is in fact not OP. Other civs just need to get slightly better.

In team games, balance is vastly different because people need to adapt to the fact that they will be playing with players of different skill level. If all players have similar skill levels, I think the popularity of many of those factions would drop. In 1v1s, Ptolemies are the very best and no other faction has a fair chance against them IMHO. Some might disagree and say that Iberians have a fair chance against them. If this is true, then I would say no there faction has a fair chance against Ptolemies or Iberians. They are a cut above of the rest. I agree mostly with the 9 points that Yekaterina made. I would add a number 10 to that: Can train heroes from the CC. This gives a great timing advantage over most other factions. I think the option to nerf the heroes is the most fitting of the 3 suggestions. I would also propose an indirect nerf: rebalance so that the pikeman is no longer OP.

13 hours ago, Yekaterina said:

3. No food trickle please, or half the current food trickle. 

The food trickle is really nice in the first 2 minutes, where it allows you to get more units and let that snowball for you. In the lategame it is negligible. So halving it does not feel good. It also is historically accurate as Egypt was the breadbasket for the middle east. Maybe a team bonus that gives mercenaries shorter train time might also be fitting for them, but for me we can keep it as it is.

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ptole are popular in 1v1 matches. they feel OP at least among players of my (middle) level. Also carthage is quite popular. I don't know why iberians are not played more, they really really really need a nerf for their crazy OP fire champions.

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Actually the typical Ptolemies army of pikes + slings is inferior to the Roman army with swords, spears and javlins. What makes the difference is the hero. 

Yes Iberian fire cav is way too OP, but they are also expensive. 

On 16/10/2021 at 12:10 PM, LetswaveaBook said:

The food trickle is really nice in the first 2 minutes, where it allows you to get more units and let that snowball for you. In the lategame it is negligible. So halving it does not feel good. It also is historically accurate as Egypt was the breadbasket for the middle east. Maybe a team bonus that gives mercenaries shorter train time might also be fitting for them, but for me we can keep it as it is.

Not really; the longer the game lasts, the more free food you have gained from the food trickle. If 1 food per second, then after a 20 minutes game you have gained 1200 food from nowhere. 

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6 minutes ago, Yekaterina said:

Actually the typical Ptolemies army of pikes + slings is inferior to the Roman army with swords, spears and javlins. What makes the difference is the hero. 

Scipio Africanus can almost match Cleopatra. And he increases capture speed which is also useful. Plus, he is a sword cavarly unit instead of an archer.

 

6 minutes ago, Yekaterina said:

 

Not really; the longer the game lasts, the more free food you have gained from the food trickle. If 1 food per second, then after a 20 minutes game you have gained 1200 food from nowhere. 

That doesn't change the fact that the food trickle is insignificant in the late game, except that it has done the snowballing before. If you gain 600 in food in 10 minutes or if you gain 1200 food in 20 minutes is not a big difference.

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@Yekaterina

I think one of the main things making ptol "OP" is their strong heroes that match the army composition that ptol make best (pike sling+ a few mercs maybe). Pikes with ranged units are powerful because other ranged units are forced to kill the pikes first, leaving the ranged units un-touched until all the melee are gone. In a25 battles are decided by who's melee can last the longest, so ptol naturally are one of the best at this. Another great example is seleucids, but the key difference is that they dont have "op" infantry heroes like poltemies. Ptol are not OP, but they are strong and there are times when they feel unstoppable due to the prioritization of melee units.

I think adding attack-ground or area-attack would be a great way to make battles less about melee units tanking damage and work to balance the units, not to mention making the battles more interesting overall. 

There has been much discussion in the past about it, and I think it could help a variety of balance and gameplay problems that people are complaining about.

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2 hours ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

I think adding attack-ground or area-attack would be a great way to make battles less about melee units tanking damage and work to balance the units, not to mention making the battles more interesting overall. 

I feel that attack ground could be nice, but it does not solve the entire issue. Ptol have all ranged units in their barracks, so Ptol is able to take as much advantage from this as any faction.

For 1v1s, what makes Ptol a real powerhouse is that their economy is unmatched. When they reach p3, they can train a hero elephant from the CC. If you weren't max pop by then you could train mercenaries for 39 metal. If you kill one of their heroes, there are 2 more excellent option left for the Ptolemies.

 

I think you might be able to do a build with decent eco and have the elephant hero out before minute 10 (under 11 minutes is certainly possible). I will try to practice that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Any further input on the matter? Unless there are major changes, I think it is best to cut the auras of the heroes into half.

 

I think every faction should have some weaknesses and for Ptolemies I can't really think of one. There are some minor weaknesses(lack of sword CS or champ infantry/cavalry to counter rams), but they are being compensated with their amazing economy that allows them to be the first to get rams/elephants.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I did not want to take away the identity of the Ptolemies or cut their options. However I think everything is very smooth for the Ptolemies and to add insult to injury 1 minute after reaching p3 you normally have a very useful hero.

Normally in RTS games, when a faction starts of strong, they tend to be weaker later in the game. I therefore think it is fair to weaken their heroes, for which I made a differential.

https://code.wildfiregames.com/D4336

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There's absolutely no reason why civs strong in early levels should be weak in late levels.  Additionally, camels don't work vs archer civs.  The only issue I see is pikemen maybe being overpowering when paired with slingers or skrimishers even in P1 and P2 WITHOUT heroes.  That's a Pikeman issue not a civ issue.

How about instead of debuffing Ptol other civs are put on their level if they are lacking?  I can think of a few civs that could use boosts.

  • +20% hp from +40% hp for pikemen (Cav Hero)
  • -15% merc cost from 35% merc cost (Elphant Hero)
  • -10% repeat time from -20% repeat time (Cleopatra)

^^Horrible.

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2 hours ago, LetswaveaBook said:

Normally in RTS games, when a faction starts of strong, they tend to be weaker later in the game. I therefore think it is fair to weaken their heroes, for which I made a differential.

in reality it is that the others manage to reduce the potential, see Mongolian case in AoE IV.

There are civs that start with advantages but do not access buildings, units and technologies that others do.

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1 hour ago, Dizaka said:

There's absolutely no reason why civs strong in early levels should be weak in late levels.

If a faction is strong on the early stages of the game and it does not have a relative weakness later, that does in my opinion mean that it is unbalanced.

1 hour ago, Dizaka said:

Additionally, camels don't work vs archer civs. 

I disagree on that. I think with camel archers you can still cause a lot of damage on Persians and kushites.

1 hour ago, Dizaka said:

he only issue I see is pikemen maybe being overpowering when paired with slingers or skrimishers even in P1 and P2 WITHOUT heroes. 

If the number of ranged units are low (both in relative or absolute number), then pikemen are close to horrible. In this game you can still individually target units. Also without siege any infantry army has problems getting something accomplished on the offensive side.

1 hour ago, Dizaka said:

That's a Pikeman issue not a civ issue.

That is true, but unless there is someone solving the pikeman issue, I think it is fair to limit the HP aura.

1 hour ago, Dizaka said:

How about instead of debuffing Ptol other civs are put on their level if they are lacking?

Okay, that seems fair in theory but I think that a every faction needs a very substantial boost to be able to match the Ptolemies. So that means the majority of the factions need a big buff, any ideas on how to do that?

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37 minutes ago, LetswaveaBook said:

If a faction is strong on the early stages of the game and it does not have a relative weakness later, that does in my opinion mean that it is unbalanced.

Disagree.  Even IRL certain civs were strong throughout their whole history while certain ones were just the opposite - completely weak. 

That add diversity and uniqueness.  There's no reason why Ptol, representive a civ that spanned thousands of years, can't be strong in beginning and end.

37 minutes ago, LetswaveaBook said:

I disagree on that. I think with camel archers you can still cause a lot of damage on Persians and kushites.

You can if the player is playing poorly.  However, Persians/Kushites have archers.  Therefore, you'd have to go all in with camels to be effective.  That risks your endgame strategy.  Archers are an excellent counter vs camels.

 

37 minutes ago, LetswaveaBook said:

If the number of ranged units are low (both in relative or absolute number), then pikemen are close to horrible. In this game you can still individually target units. Also without siege any infantry army has problems getting something accomplished on the offensive side.

Yes, but only if the number of ranged units is relatively low.  If it's 15-25 units you really can't micro them out.  If you start to then ptol can retreat.

Not really regarding the siege.  Any civ that has pikemen doesn't really need siege.  With current state of CC's just surround the CC with pikemen and go at it with the ranged units.  Even spearmen are sufficient.  Siege is overrated.  A lot of games end b/c people didn't manage resource gathering or only concentrated on a big mass of units instead of harassment.  Your game vs dakaryas with Macedonians is a good example of where constant harassment is important and population is a poor indicator of who is winning.

 

 

37 minutes ago, LetswaveaBook said:

That is true, but unless there is someone solving the pikeman issue, I think it is fair to limit the HP aura.

Okay, that seems fair in theory but I think that a every faction needs a very substantial boost to be able to match the Ptolemies. So that means the majority of the factions need a big buff, any ideas on how to do that?

I think HP aura can stay.  Limit pikemen globally.  Globally pikemen are an issue.  If globally the issue is solved and ptol are still OP consider addressing the aura.

Boosting civs can be on a 1by1 basis depending on civ.  Gauls don't need a boost as they are on the Ptol level.  I see Iberians/Mauryans/Macedonians/Seleucids/Britons as civs that are secondary to Ptolemies.  Carthage if and only if merc cav get removed.

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Dizaka said:

I think HP aura can stay.  Limit pikemen globally.  Globally pikemen are an issue.  If globally the issue is solved and ptol are still OP consider addressing the aura.

I think the aura can be weakened and put back in to its original form once the issue is solved. Also, there are a lot of other heroes that only give a similar bonus to a small group of units. Ptolemy IV, will still be decent.

51 minutes ago, Dizaka said:

Gauls don't need a boost as they are on the Ptol level. 

In 1v1s they are nowhere close. If undisturbed on 200 pop games, Ptolemies can comfortably get their hero(yah, an elephant!) before minute 11. Can Gaul compare to that?

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Gauls don't have an elephant, so probably not.  They can't produce hero from CC but have a special building for it which can be build fairly fast.

However, in a 1v1 Gauls would be on a defensive.  They have skirmishers, +dmg hero, and -enemy dmg units.  IMO it is a close call depending the units that a Ptol puts into play and at what time.  In such a game though, Gaul's advantage is that the Ptol is likely to be the comfortable one trying to push.

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