Era of Four Moons

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Velensk
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Re: Era of Four Moons

Post by Velensk » March 13th, 2014, 4:08 pm

That said, Era of Four Moons is always looking for more testers. (though in the future posting replays would help more than just making claims, remember I get all kinds of contradicting feedback)

As I said, I do think sappers need a bit of a fix. However remember that you fight sappers (and the imperialists in general) is different from other factions.

Sappers do in fact, allow you to break any line. This is the intention. However, just because you can does not mean that it's always worthwhile. The more sappers you use, the less effective it is to break a line. Imperialists without ballista actually do so little damage that you can draw your defensive lines in the open (unless you are playing darklanders) and limit the efficiency of sappers even further (this does make the main imperialist units more effective but frequently they still have trouble breaking through. Of course, if you do have both sappers and ballista in range then you may need to run (same as if you're undead and have a bunch of mages and heavy infantry in range except that ballista are even slower).

In fact, every faction in the base era except the sea states has a very strong method of breaking any line.
-Highlanders: Even though the hunter loses marksman in the newest versions, the highlanders still have lion warriors, witch doctors, and elephants who all break lines in different ways but still have great synergy.
-Darklanders: Have the slows+berserk combo. This is much more expensive than sappers but also a lot more versatile (Sappers are kind of one dimensional). They're also reuseable.
-The Sea states lack the ability to just smash any line but have good mobility and efficient units.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

siddh
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Re: Era of Four Moons

Post by siddh » March 13th, 2014, 6:07 pm

iceiceice wrote:siddh: I actually specced part of the game you mention between Horus and yourself, Highlanders vs. Imperialists on the Freelands. As I recall you both mentioned at the beginning that you weren't familiar with the era, and despite what you say about sappers being too good, I recall the Imperialists lost despite making lots of sappers. Sappers are certainly different from the default units, but I think we should have a little faith in Velensk, i.e. if you "seriously" think they are too good, you could at least demonstrate this by using them to win a few games. It's not as if there has been no playtesting done on Era of Four Moons.
Let's correct this a little.. Yes we were both unfamiliar with the era. But at the beginning of the match I went through all the units and their stats on my side. Once I figured out opponent was imperialists, I went through all his units, and decided that imperialists are better. So I was playing with the Highlanders and won vs the Imperialists. Horus made only 1 Sapper (Or was it 2?), and we both agreed it's too good. He didn't recruit any more of them, I believe this is because they seemed unfair. The reason Highlanders managed to win was because Horus ignored daytime cycle and attacked at night with the Imperialists, despite them being lawful, and the highlanders being chaotic/neutral - and he didn't use the sappers. Of course he also knew he shouldn't attack at night, but did that anyway. Regardless I recommend getting a second opinion from some people on top of the ladder.

siddh
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Re: Era of Four Moons

Post by siddh » March 13th, 2014, 6:16 pm

Velensk wrote: As I said, I do think sappers need a bit of a fix. However remember that you fight sappers (and the imperialists in general) is different from other factions.
Alright I suppose we agree then :D
Velensk wrote: .... Of course, if you do have both sappers and ballista in range then you may need to run...

Let's put it this way.. Your opponent must plan everything around you having a level 0 unit that costs 8 gold. :D

Velensk
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Re: Era of Four Moons

Post by Velensk » March 13th, 2014, 7:18 pm

For future refrence though, please test a bit more thoroughly than that before posting feedback (and ideally post replays as well). I happen to have a similar opinion as you on one suggested change but the more data the better. -As it is, It's really hard to be impressed by your description of the sappers being broken when by your own admitance you didn't use all that many of them because it seemed too powerful and while giving no indication of understanding how to fight against them. I find it particuarly weird that you found them too strong when you were playing highlanders, the faction I'd consider least suceptable to them. Unlike the other factions, highlanders can pretty much hold a village against sappers, they just need to plop an elephant on it and use other units to hold the hexes next to it. The sappers would each do 5-3 which wouldn't be chipping through an elephants hp that efficently.

As another side note: It's ideal to test on 1.11 if you can, that has the newest version of the era. Some of the changes cannot be back-ported without reverting so I havn't changed the stable version.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

siddh
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Re: Era of Four Moons

Post by siddh » March 13th, 2014, 10:02 pm

Like I explained before, I don't think elephant is all that good because it has limited movement and has the disadvantage of being level2, so I'd prefer to avoid recruiting elephants if I was playing to win. Secondly even if it does work to defend against sappers, like in the previous message was indicated, the fact that people have to change their tactics considerably simply because opponent has 1 level 0 unit that costs 8 gold is as a statement equivalent with the unit being too strong.

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iceiceice
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Re: Era of Four Moons

Post by iceiceice » March 13th, 2014, 10:30 pm

siddh wrote:Secondly ... the fact that people have to change their tactics considerably simply because opponent has (such and such) unit that costs (such and such) gold is as a statement equivalent with the unit being too strong.
(emphasis in original)

I find this statement ridiculous. Why don't we try this out in default era:

The undead have a level 0 scout that costs 13 gp. Would your tactics change significantly vs undead if they did not have bats? If you are playing against a skilled player the answer is most certainly yes. Does this mean bats are too strong and need to be nerfed? I don't think anyone currently holds this opinion, and I don't think anyone would be convinced by this argument.

The knalgan have a level 1 berzerk unit that costs 19gp. Would your tactics change significantly vs knalgan if they did not have ulfs? Again the answer is emphatically yes. Does this mean ulfs are too strong and need to be nerfed? Again I think you would be hard pressed to find any expert who would agree with you here.

Actually not only do I find the statement to be false, I find something close to the opposite to be true. *Every* unit in every faction should cause a noticeable change in the strategy of a strong opponent in some circumstance, otherwise it should either be buffed or removed from the era, since it is adding complexity to the era without adding any strategic value.

siddh
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Re: Era of Four Moons

Post by siddh » March 13th, 2014, 10:38 pm

iceiceice wrote:.
You're way off the mark. The vampire bat is well balanced unit (now that it has feral at least). An Uflzerker is a well balanced unit.

An ulfzerker doesn't cost 8 gold, and it isn't level 0. So your opponent gains 8 XP from killing it and you have upkeep. A single vampire bat can't force your opponent to retreat and leave villages open.

Think about it this way. Sapper -> You can have 1.5 mages attacking your target and then mysteriously teleport out of the hex, so your next guy can finish the target off. For 8 gold.

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iceiceice
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Re: Era of Four Moons

Post by iceiceice » March 13th, 2014, 11:00 pm

siddh wrote: You're way off the mark. The vampire bat is well balanced unit (now that it has feral at least). An Uflzerker is a well balanced unit.
Right, so you agree that your argument in the previous post was missing a lot.
siddh wrote: An ulfzerker doesn't cost 8 gold, and it isn't level 0. So your opponent gains 8 XP from killing it and you have upkeep. A single vampire bat can't force your opponent to retreat and leave villages open.

Think about it this way. Sapper -> You can have 1.5 mages attacking your target and then mysteriously teleport out of the hex, so your next guy can finish the target off. For 8 gold.
siddh, the difference here is that we are in a completely different era and the balance and principles are completely different. Would sapper be balanced in default era? Probably not but that is irrelevant. Are you seriously unwilling to consider the possibility that sapper could be balanced in any era? Maybe you should investigate it seriously in Era of Four Moons, because no one is going to be convinced by these naive, "on paper" arguments.

siddh
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Re: Era of Four Moons

Post by siddh » March 14th, 2014, 12:08 am

iceiceice wrote:siddh, the difference here is that we are in a completely different era and the balance and principles are completely different. Would sapper be balanced in default era? Probably not but that is irrelevant. Are you seriously unwilling to consider the possibility that sapper could be balanced in any era? Maybe you should investigate it seriously in Era of Four Moons, because no one is going to be convinced by these naive, "on paper" arguments.
Seriously, you don't seem to understand. And I recommend either testing or working it out otherwise.

Velensk
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Re: Era of Four Moons

Post by Velensk » March 14th, 2014, 12:53 am

The vampire bat has an entirely different form of power than the sapper but the effect of 'force an enemy to do something with a cheap lvl 0' is actually much the same. If your enemy doesn't have mobile forces, a single vampire bat can force an enemy to have to camp on villages, sometimes more than one unit and for some factions those units are guaranteed to cost more than the bat.

Fact is, the fact that sappers force an enemy to play differently is not an inherent sign of imbalance. My agreement with you is limited to the idea that sappers are probably a bit too good at what they do for their cost. I have no problem with the fact that sappers shape they way the enemy plays, that is what they are supposed to do.

For what it's worth, of of the main reasons that the highlanders were nerfed in the latest version was the highlander/imperialist match-up. My experience was that a good highlander player would be able to reliable control the flow of the match especially if they pursued a aggressive play at the start.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

siddh
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Re: Era of Four Moons

Post by siddh » March 14th, 2014, 10:50 am

Velensk wrote:Fact is, the fact that sappers force an enemy to play differently is not an inherent sign of imbalance.
Actually it is an inherent sign of inbalance, but not in an absolute sense. In fact in a well balanced era what an OP unit would do, is to cause opponent adjust his plans around that unit. This has a quantitative side in several (At least 3) respects. How much does it cost to achieve this effect? How big is the difference? And how much room for planning is left to the opponent?

The vampire bat mentioned earlier is a powerful unit even though it costs 13 gold and is level 0. Before the feral trait it was a little OP in fact in some maps. But like you mentioned, the bat can force your opponent to keep a village occupied. So in a sense the bat can put pressure on your opponent and restrict his mobility.

The quantitative effect becomes important again. If you can force opponent to use 2 defenders to occupy villages using only 1 bat. You're winning, it's a small advantage.

Meanwhile the sapper's effect is much larger. It can make the position that is formed by 6-7 units fall apart. A bat essentially just can't do that. Like with the bat restricting opponents movement in a gold-efficient way, this also means you're winning, because the sapper is very cheap, and has large imapct. It would probably be worthwhile to get a second opinion from one of the stronger players.
Velensk wrote: My agreement with you is limited to the idea that sappers are probably a bit too good at what they do for their cost.
Yes I think that's in the core of my feedback here. Although now that I think about it, I think I don't like the fact that the sapper works better against high defense units. Perhaps the mechanic itself could be adjusted somewhat? Thematically I think it's a good unit though.

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Re: Era of Four Moons

Post by Velensk » March 14th, 2014, 11:54 am

The whole point of sappers is that they're good vs high defense units. If they don't fill that role for the imperialists then there is absolutely no reason for the imperialists to have access to them. The ability to break lines isn't really the point, the imperialists can wear down a foe through attrition and ballistas, (it is however a side effect that I like on the condition that it has limited efficiency vs low defense enemies), but otherwise they don't have any reliable method of attacking villages, dealing with elusives, or just enemies in good terrain. Sappers solve the inherent problem in the imperialist playstyle and do so in a unique and somewhat costly way. It also makes them unique and interesting to fight against and you definitely can fight against them. I really believe that you're overstating how effective they are by quite a bit. No single sapper can make anything fall apart, only in combination with other units can it accomplish anything and once you use its power you lose it.
-A single sapper is actually unlikely to make a village fall apart if the enemy puts a couple units directly adjacent to it as well as on it. A sapper deals on average 20 damage to a 60% defense target. If that's a brave then the imperialist needs to then deal 20 more damage (ignoring traits) to the target on it (will be risky even with two units) and then kill off one of the other two guards with one fewer hex.

The imperialists as a whole work with a major disadvantage and that is that with the exception of the ballista (who is strategically unwieldy) and that is that despite having generally expensive units by the standards of the era, they cap out at 16 damage per hex. That is lower than the northerners who suffer badly from that problem despite getting 18 damage per hex, costing less, and being more mobile. Imperialists aren't even all that much tougher (once you even out resistances), defenses, and hitpoints despite costing more unless there is a standard present (going from just over a grunts toughness to being tougher than a troll but without the regeneration). I also find that to a greater extent than any other faction imperialist units are made strong by having other imperialist units around (toughness doesn't help as much if you don't have enough units to prevent flanks and then there are various unit synergies) which makes it so that it takes awhile to put together an ideal combination when trying to cover multiple fronts. Now they do have excellent units especially once you get them all together but I find in practice they are much less scary than they look.

EDIT: Imperialists lack of damage is particuarly notable as generally in EoFM more damage is available more cheaply relative to the effective toughness of the units.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

siddh
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Re: Era of Four Moons

Post by siddh » March 14th, 2014, 2:19 pm

Velensk wrote:The whole point of sappers is that they're good vs high defense units. If they don't fill that role for the imperialists then there is absolutely no reason for the imperialists to have access to them.
To be more specific I meant that defense making the sappers more powerful is highly counterintuitive. Meanwhile when it comes to mere efficiency counterintuitiveness isn't required, as for an example the only effect produced by magical and marskman abilities is that they're more efficient against high defense units. The difference is that the magical attack is not improved by the target having higher defense. I may not find the right words to describe this, but I think you should know what I mean.
Velensk wrote:The ability to break lines isn't really the point, the imperialists can wear down a foe through attrition and ballistas, (it is however a side effect that I like on the condition that it has limited efficiency vs low defense enemies), but otherwise they don't have any reliable method of attacking villages, dealing with elusives, or just enemies in good terrain. Sappers solve the inherent problem in the imperialist playstyle and do so in a unique and somewhat costly way. It also makes them unique and interesting to fight against and you definitely can fight against them. I really believe that you're overstating how effective they are by quite a bit.
I don't believe I'm hugely overstating sappers efficiency. Sapper is more powerful than a mage in an attack, and it's more hex efficient than a mage, it costs 8 gold and doesn't have upkeep. It's more reliable. Opponent only gains 4xp from killing it. You don't need to cover for them after using an attack. You have better control on which one of your unit gets experience points. .

It's still related to the price of sapper and the way it works. If you'd have the sapper at 12 gold it wouldn't be that bad. If it was level 1 and you'd get proper xp from killing it, it would be much riskier. If there was a chance the sapper failed and would keep teh hex occupied after using it's attack, it would start to approach being balanced.

For an example if it simply used a magical attack that does ie. 15 damage and a succesful hit would kill the sapper then it would be balanced already. 30% chance of failure. Or 2 magical attacks, (but only 1 could occur when the sapper dies), for a 9% chance of failure.
Velensk wrote: No single sapper can make anything fall apart, only in combination with other units can it accomplish anything and once you use its power you lose it.
Yes that's correct a single sapper can't have any effect on it's own. It requires first of all that you have an opponent. Your opponent must have units. And yes you must also have units, because you cant win the game with 1 sapper. But the effect of a single sapper in the environment where both you and your opponent have units is quite large. It improves the hex-efficiency of your army, and for that purpose is hugely better than the elephant. So considering that you've thought buying an elephant at 24 gold is worthwhile, this argument is surprising. 1 sapper is more efficient than 1 elephant.

Anyway I think it's time to quit this argument considering the following:

1. You've already stated that you think it needs a little fix. Which is also what I think, so we sort agree already, but continue arguing anyway. I wonder why. Emphasis on little, I think it's thematically, moodwise, and considering the tactical and strategical dimensions a nice idea. I'm not saying you should remove the sapper or changing it to some other unit. Anyway I think we agree on this... So let's call it quits. :D

2. At this point I'm mostly continuing this argument because people question my judgement with varying level of validity in their arguments :D

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Re: Era of Four Moons

Post by Jon_dArc » March 20th, 2014, 7:05 pm

siddh wrote:
Velensk wrote:The whole point of sappers is that they're good vs high defense units. If they don't fill that role for the imperialists then there is absolutely no reason for the imperialists to have access to them.
To be more specific I meant that defense making the sappers more powerful is highly counterintuitive. Meanwhile when it comes to mere efficiency counterintuitiveness isn't required, as for an example the only effect produced by magical and marskman abilities is that they're more efficient against high defense units. The difference is that the magical attack is not improved by the target having higher defense. I may not find the right words to describe this, but I think you should know what I mean.
The issue you're having is that aside from Sappers, Defense is an almost unalloyed good—with the exception of a few corner cases where you want a unit to die (mostly to kill something that doesn't have enough reachable adjacent hexes, or to take advantage of AI target selection), there's never a reason (all else equal) to turn down an improvement in Defense. This is pretty fundamental to the basic mechanics of the game.

Sappers turn this on its head, and it is a little disorienting—compare, for example, a unit whose resistances were increased by the number of strikes an opponent has, or who takes damage inversely proportional to the opponent's base damage. This is the kind of thing that shouldn't be done lightly or too often. The problem is that "too often" is quite subjective. I don't think Sappers cross that line, being one unit in the context of a large era that's quite different from base, but hopefully I've cleared up the objection a bit.

~J

Velensk
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Re: Era of Four Moons

Post by Velensk » April 3rd, 2014, 1:04 pm

New Version of Era of Four Moons is out!

Only on the 1.12 beta branch though. Some changes cannot easily be backported and that branch will become stable soon.

Most notale changes in the new version.

New Freeman art
Sandwalker melee -> 6-2
Piper ranged -> 3-8
Specialized Immortal and Dervish more towards melee
Sapper cost ->9
pelite ->33 hp
pelite ranged attack back to 4-3
Jaguar rider ->35 hp
hurler (darklander) ->32 hp
white warrior cost ->15
stormguard cost ->18
highlander runner cost->15
loyalist hp->33

Some more drastic changes may be needed but I want to wait and see. I am waiting for 1.12 to become mainline before engaging in extensive testing.

The new campaign should also be coming very soon, I'm just waiting for special art for the characters.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

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