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Balancing suggestions (including pikemen)


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Pikemen are, and have been for quite some time now an imbalanced unit. On top of that they have a role that is a bit unnatural (tank against all units), and by being so good at it they reduce the effectiveness of melee infantry champions, and maybe elephants. My suggestion to balance them is to make them strong against melee units, and weaker against ranged units. But for this to work players should be incentived to make melee units. This is done by nerfing ranged units. Here would be the list of changes (without specific values):

- Significantly reduce pierce armor of citizen soldier pikemen, up to e.g. 3
- Increase pikemen DPS to be at the level of sword and spear CS
- (maybe, not sure) Reduce hack armor of citizen soldier pikemen to 8
- Give macedonians a pierce armor civ bonus for their citizen soldier pikemen, something like +2 (it could be a tech)
- Champion pikemen have the specificity of having their pierce armor greatly improved (compared to other champions), but their other stats not so much
- Reduce ranged units damage
- Do not change damage of defensive buildings (actually not obvious, maybe would require more thinking)
- Remove HP bonus from promotion
- Give ranged units a reload time bonus from promotion
- Consider making promotion easier (less experience needed)
- Nerf melee champions (they would surely be OP after these previous changes)

All of these changes are linked, and either must be committed all together, or none of them should get in. I imagine cavalry would also be affected by these changes, but not sure how yet. Promotion changes are weakly linked (but still linked) and are intended to contribute solving another problem at the same time.

This should also have the consequence of making battles slower (perhaps a bit more epic)

If the community agree to these changes, as they are quite experimental the following could be good:

- Invite dev team to perhaps release a new civ at the same time
- Not having a release time too long for the version that comes after that. Preferably not longer than 6 months

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pikemen role is weird indeed, they shouldn't be losing against all melee inf, and they shouldn't be winning against all ranged inf.

I'll say it once again: gameplay updates should follow a much shorter schedule than engine updates, ideally, some two months.

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@Feldfeld these changes sound nice and I would be keen to test them. Another idea that has been going on that would address pikemen (and high damage ranged units) is attack-ground and/or attack-group. A25 battles have really been about how fast your ranged units will kill enemy melee and how long your melee units can survive against enemy ranged units. It certainly is time we considered the dps of melee units.

I think even if these changes are tested, refined, and implemented, we would probably still want some kind of attack ground or attack-group. There is a recent and more productive discussion on this topic that has resulted in a mod that explores different shooting behavior of ranged units. It is quite interesting and we are trying to get players to test it.

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14 hours ago, BreakfastBurrito_007 said:

@Feldfeld these changes sound nice and I would be keen to test them. Another idea that has been going on that would address pikemen (and high damage ranged units) is attack-ground and/or attack-group. A25 battles have really been about how fast your ranged units will kill enemy melee and how long your melee units can survive against enemy ranged units. It certainly is time we considered the dps of melee units.

I think even if these changes are tested, refined, and implemented, we would probably still want some kind of attack ground or attack-group. There is a recent and more productive discussion on this topic that has resulted in a mod that explores different shooting behavior of ranged units. It is quite interesting and we are trying to get players to test it.

It could be nice to have it in the game. But I think my changes make sense both in the cases when attack ground is added or when it is not.

I imagine for now it is difficult to see how attack ground will work out or what effect it will have on balance. It could nerf pikemen (but that doesn't change to the fact that they have quite a bad role), buff long range units vs short range units (so overall a nerf to ranged units as small range are better), and buff ranged units (by giving them a new option, meanwhile melee units get unchanged)

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  • 2 months later...
On 05/01/2022 at 2:06 AM, Feldfeld said:

- Significantly reduce pierce armor of citizen soldier pikemen, up to e.g. 3
- Increase pikemen DPS to be at the level of sword and spear CS
- (maybe, not sure) Reduce hack armor of citizen soldier pikemen to 8
- Give macedonians a pierce armor civ bonus for their citizen soldier pikemen, something like +2 (it could be a tech)
- Champion pikemen have the specificity of having their pierce armor greatly improved (compared to other champions), but their other stats not so much.

You gave a lot to think about. I will try to respond: 

These changes will make pikemen better at pure melee battles than other melee soldiers, because they will have the same damage output, but greater hack defense and attack range. Good.

But then why change their role back to meatshields as champions?

Other points mentioned: 

- Reduce ranged units damage
- Do not change damage of defensive buildings (actually not obvious, maybe would require more thinking)
- Remove HP bonus from promotion
- Give ranged units a reload time bonus from promotion
- Consider making promotion easier (less experience needed)
- Nerf melee champions (they would surely be OP after these previous changes)

Reducing range unit damage will be an overall buff to melee units.  So the melee fight will be more important compared to present. As the battle goes on and ranged units rank up, their DPS will increase with a faster fire rate.  Melee units, which are less likely to rank up since they take almost all damage, being the target of both melee units and ranged units, will not gain HP even when they do rank up.  (Will they only gain defense, then?)

So it seems like the battles will begin with melee units having more importance relative to now, but then end up having similar importance compared to now as ranged units rank up?  I guess I don't understand the purpose of this fully. 

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