The project to save the Age of Heroes

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Should the Age of Heroes have lots of level 1 units?

Yes, all the level 1 units
12
50%
No, none of the level 1 units
4
17%
Only a few level 1 units for balances
8
33%
 
Total votes : 24

The project to save the Age of Heroes

Postby The_Gnat » January 15th, 2017, 1:15 am

After reading numerous topics about the Age of Heroes and after playing it many times i have come to the conclusion (like many other people have) that the Age of Heroes is hopelessly unbalanced. This is not only disappointing but also bad, because it can cause problems for new players (who do not yet realize this).

So my question is this: Is the Age of Heroes dead?

If it is dead, than it is my opinion that it should be buried: removed from the mainline game. There are many other, far more balanced eras that are better than it, why include something no good in the mainline game.

However i foresee that there are many people not yet ready to have the Age of Heroes removed from mainline, and i am in agreement. I personally believe AoH is still worth saving, and can be saved and for this reason i am asking the dev's if they would consider allowing me to balance the AoH.

Balancing the Age of Heroes is not a small project which i understand, and it may not ever be perfectly balanced, however i think that it is worth trying and i believe that anything i do to the Age of Heroes will be a improvement.

However i do not want to pursue this if my version would never have a chance to be added to mainline.
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Re: The Age of Heroes: hopeless? dead? or still worth saving

Postby zookeeper » January 15th, 2017, 1:43 am

In principle, balancing it seems like a good idea. But what would that entail? If it's mainly about 1) trimming the recruit lists of each faction to not include every possible lvl2 (or lvl1) unit and 2) changing lvl2 recruit costs, then that sounds good and pretty feasible (even if rather laborious) and I doubt anyone would object to you giving it a try. However, if it includes changing the lvl2 unit stats (beyond really small changes, that is) then it's of course still possible, but might require a bit more care because there's more room for unintended consequences elsewhere.
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Re: The Age of Heroes: hopeless? dead? or still worth saving

Postby The_Gnat » January 15th, 2017, 1:49 am

zookeeper wrote:In principle, balancing it seems like a good idea. But what would that entail? If it's mainly about 1) trimming the recruit lists of each faction to not include every possible lvl2 (or lvl1) unit and 2) changing lvl2 recruit costs, then that sounds good and pretty feasible (even if rather laborious) and I doubt anyone would object to you giving it a try. However, if it includes changing the lvl2 unit stats (beyond really small changes, that is) then it's of course still possible, but might require a bit more care because there's more room for unintended consequences elsewhere.


Hello Zookeeper, yes it would mainly entail 1) and i would hope to not modify units as much as possible... yet from what i have seen of AoH units i believe that at least prices, if not other stats would need to be tweaked in order to be able to balance AoH.

I would definitely avoid changing anything major like: advancements, weapon specials, or adding new attacks, but would most likely have to change HP, XP, attack damage and other such stats for some units.

However the real question i have to ask is: what chance do i have to actually get a modified AoH accepted if i were to complete it?
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Re: The Age of Heroes: hopeless? dead? or still worth saving

Postby Paulomat4 » January 15th, 2017, 12:31 pm

I think this is a good idea and that the era of heroes should be saved. I'd like to offer you my help in that.
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Re: The Age of Heroes: hopeless? dead? or still worth saving

Postby zookeeper » January 15th, 2017, 1:32 pm

The_Gnat wrote:I would definitely avoid changing anything major like: advancements, weapon specials, or adding new attacks, but would most likely have to change HP, XP, attack damage and other such stats for some units.

However the real question i have to ask is: what chance do i have to actually get a modified AoH accepted if i were to complete it?

If you can come up with an AoH that's much better balanced, then I'd think the chances are pretty good that it'll be accepted. The biggest obstacle might be getting some multiplayer experts to actually assess the balance, because we just don't have a lot of those people around. I'd suggest that you at least accompany each change with some kind of explanation of what specific balance problem it's meant to solve, since that'll make it a bit faster and easier for others to assure themselves that the changes make sense.
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Re: The Age of Heroes: hopeless? dead? or still worth saving

Postby The_Gnat » January 15th, 2017, 8:49 pm

Thank you again zookeeper, my only question (before i begin) is: would a balanced AoH be able to be added to future 1.13 versions or would a balanced AoH not be able to be added until 1.14 (so as to not cause discrepancy in the 1.13 multiplayer lobby)

@ paulomat4 : thank you very much (for a project of this size) i believe it is good to have more than one person to work on it. The main thing is that in order to balance the AoH i believe we would have to reduce the recruit list down to 6-8 (EDIT) and i would remove all level 1 units from the recruit list (maybe with the exception of the soulless). Would that be reasonable to you? (if not we might have disagreement in this project)
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Re: The Age of Heroes: hopeless? dead? or still worth saving

Postby Ravana » January 15th, 2017, 8:53 pm

1.13 as development version does not share lobby for different versions. At least until it gets to release candidates.
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Re: The Age of Heroes: hopeless? dead? or still worth saving

Postby The_Gnat » January 15th, 2017, 8:55 pm

Ravana wrote:1.13 as development version does not share lobby for different versions. At least until it gets to release candidates.


Ok, that is good because waiting to have this implemented in 1.14 would be a long time. I doubt it will be ready for 1.13.7 though ;)
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Re: The Age of Heroes: hopeless? dead? or still worth saving

Postby zookeeper » January 15th, 2017, 9:11 pm

Yeah, there's no compatibility issue with adding it to 1.13, as long as it happens before we start having feature freezes and release candidate releases and all that. It's probably going to take a while before we get there, though.
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Re: The Age of Heroes: hopeless? dead? or still worth saving

Postby The_Gnat » January 15th, 2017, 9:20 pm

Fine! So it is a good idea to attempt to balance the Age of Heroes. Now the question arises where to begin. I think shortening the recruit lists is the most important first step. (a carefully planned assault is more likely to succeed then a hasty attack)

(i will post again when i have done so)
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The first step in saving the Age of Heroes

Postby The_Gnat » January 15th, 2017, 10:37 pm

Ok. With a quick look i have taken the default era, and advanced all the default era units and created the Age of Heroes Rebalanced 0.0.1 Attached is a add-on which allows you to play the new AOH. (please note it is not complete nor set in stone THIS is version 0.0.1, suggestions and comments are appreciated)

I decided the best place to start is the default era, which already has been mostly balanced. I have taken the leveled up version of all the units from the default era and that is the base for my AOH rebalancing.

What i have done and why
1st.
Please note i have not included the drakes nor the khalifate, for two reasons: because they (in my oppinion) are not part of the 5 core teams, and because i do not know them well enough to balance them. After staring at the unit database for a while i have come up with a khalifate and drake AOH team also


2nd.
Many of the default era units advanced to more than 1 unit. I have taken the advancement that best repersents the unit. For example the AOH northerners now contains no troll rocklobber, only a troll because i believe this is the role the whelp unit was filling. Similarly the loyalists do not have a lancer, the elves do not contain the ranger any longer and the undead do not contain the shadow :cry: or the deathblade.

(harder choices like the loyalists only having a white mage, no longer a red mage may be contended and that would be appreciated (if supported with facts).


3rd.
I have taken the liberty of reducing the cost of the elvish marksman because (even though it is the most powerful non-magical ranged unit) it should not cost the same as a level 3 unit. It now costs (a still hefty) 37gp. I will do the same with other units if i see it necessary.


4th.
Nothing is set in stone. Currently I have removed the Dwarvish Berserker, however it may prove that later it is necessary for the balance of the dwarves. Similarly the rebels mage need a red or white mage added back onto their faction, however i see the elvish sorceress as filling that role currently. The loyalists also do not have a pikeman or javelineer, it might end up that the javelineer fills the spearman's role more effectively.

Note: the default knalgans do not have the thug in their faction. I added the bandit to this new AOH balance but it might not be appropriate due to their already strong impact attacks (vs. the undead)

Note 2: the dwarves have a expensive scout, and no water units (unlike the undead's skeleton's, the rebel's merman spearman, the loyalist's merman warrior, and the northerners naga warrior. I am considering adding a new unit what do you think)


5th.
I am considering the value of having level 1 units in this faction. The Goblin Impaler, Soulless and Blood Bat. Comments are welcome.


6th.
I have done nothing with the leaders as of yet, no comments are needed currently.


For everyone reading this, this is important and if you download this and post feedback (useful feedback ;) ) you could be a significant help and have a part in a component of this game that desperately needs fixing, and could have a hand in something that at somepoint will become mainline!

Thank you very much to everyone (in advance).
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Re: The Age of Heroes: hopeless? dead? or still worth saving

Postby Paulomat4 » January 16th, 2017, 6:40 pm

Hey :)
Many of the default era units advanced to more than 1 unit. I have taken the advancement that best repersents the unit. For example the AOH northerners now contains no troll rocklobber, only a troll because i believe this is the role the whelp unit was filling. Similarly the loyalists do not have a lancer, the elves do not contain the ranger any longer and the undead do not contain the shadow :cry: or the deathblade.

(harder choices like the loyalists only having a white mage, no longer a red mage may be contended and that would be appreciated (if supported with facts).

I know that this goes goes indeed completely in another direction than your proposal but in my Opinion the number of recruits that are available shouldn't e reduced too drastically.
My reasoning for this is the following:
Part of the charm of playing age of heroes is indeed playing with different lvl 2 units that wouldn't be available to you during normal gameplay. Drastically shortening the recruit list takes that charm away and would be a BIG reason for me not to play age of heroes at all anymore. I'm not saying that no unit at all should be removed, there might indeed be units that disbalance some matchups too much, but even then I would prefer increasing their cost, so that they are unattractive and not cost-effective to recruit.
One might say that it will be impossible to achieve complete balance that way, but this isn't the primary goal that I see. The goal is to make a more balanced Age of Heroes that is still like the age of heroes that we know right now. We want to preserve it and balance. Step by step. Not changing the essence of the age of heroes too much also augments the chance of it being accepted by the players and the devs. :)
(What I could imagine is a trimmed down version of age of heroes next to a normal, more balanced version of age of heroes. Some kind of "Age of heroes -Tournament version", but that is another question and shouldn't be our primary goal.)

I am convinced that we will be able to make a better balanced though small changes. And even if the new Age of heroes won't be 100% balanced, I'm sure we will be able to make it 90-95%!

My suggestion would be to look at the User forum. Over the years that I'm on this for especially Yomar and a few others have made a lot of elaborated balance proposals which sadly have been mostly ignored. I think that would be a good way. to start.
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Re: The Age of Heroes: hopeless? dead? or still worth saving

Postby Vyncyn » January 16th, 2017, 7:41 pm

I agree that AoH should include all lvl2 units and not be cut down, but for testing reasons cutting it down might be better.
With a smaller recruit list it should be easier to balance the units. Once this is done the removed lvl2 units could be added again (with edited gold values) without disbalancing the era too much, as they have nearly the same strength as their alternative path.

That said I would propose to use the pikeman or javelineer instead of the swordman as it represents the spearman better (cheap pierce damage).

The_Gnat wrote:I am considering the value of having level 1 units in this faction. The Goblin Impaler, Soulless and Blood Bat. Comments are welcome.

They definitely need to be in there as they fulfill an unique role (Bat as cheaper scout, soulless as impact-resistant and cheap meatshield, Goblin as pierce damage for the northerners)
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Re: The Age of Heroes: hopeless? dead? or still worth saving

Postby The_Gnat » January 16th, 2017, 8:26 pm

Paulomat4 wrote:Hey :)
I know that this goes goes indeed completely in another direction than your proposal but in my Opinion the number of recruits that are available shouldn't e reduced too drastically.


First of all thank you for posting feedback, even though it is in another direction i understand your point and agree. I believe Vyncyn has a good idea

Vyncyn wrote:I agree that AoH should include all lvl2 units and not be cut down, but for testing reasons cutting it down might be better.
With a smaller recruit list it should be easier to balance the units. Once this is done the removed lvl2 units could be added again (with edited gold values) without disbalancing the era too much, as they have nearly the same strength as their alternative path.


I believe you both are correct in that AOH should contain all level 2 units.

Vyncyn wrote:That said I would propose to use the pikeman or javelineer instead of the swordman as it represents the spearman better (cheap pierce damage).

They definitely need to be in there as they fulfill an unique role (Bat as cheaper scout, soulless as impact-resistant and cheap meatshield, Goblin as pierce damage for the northerners)


Thank you for your response and i agree with all your points, and will make the necessary change.

Paulomat4 wrote:My suggestion would be to look at the User forum. Over the years that I'm on this for especially Yomar and a few others have made a lot of elaborated balance proposals which sadly have been mostly ignored. I think that would be a good way. to start.


I will do that!

One further question however: The current AOH contains many level 1 units, do you think they should all be kept also or only the units that fulfill unique roles? For example: if the new AOH contains a swordsman, pikeman, and javelineer should it also contain a spearman? I personally would prefer it does not, but you have already seen i am in favour of a small recruit list ;)
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Re: The Age of Heroes: hopeless? dead? or still worth saving

Postby Vyncyn » January 16th, 2017, 9:29 pm

The_Gnat wrote:One further question however: The current AOH contains many level 1 units, do you think they should all be kept also or only the units that fulfill unique roles? For example: if the new AOH contains a swordsman, pikeman, and javelineer should it also contain a spearman? I personally would prefer it does not, but you have already seen i am in favour of a small recruit list ;)


Tactically the lvl1s have a unique role as they could be used as fodder to delay the enemy or to get the lasthits to level up quickly and have a lvl2 unit without investing much gold. Especially scouts should have their lvl 1 version to grab villages quickly without having to spend 30+ gold.
As long as your AoH version is in the testing phase it's propably better to keep the recruit list small.
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