Evening the strength of the 5 realms of magic

Anything else to do with the original Master of Magic
Dyslexic Q-Thief
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Post by Dyslexic Q-Thief » Sat Jan 05, 2008 9:30 pm

Lupinedreams wrote:that does sound cool - maybe an option to change the chances for certain random rewards? could probably make some new artifacts to add to the rewards table without too much trouble...even new heroes, though I imagine those would be more of a pain and deviating farther from the original MoM

that said the oldschool heroes were not that balanced at all - some were vastly better than others of the same tier

aaand I'm rambling again.
There's a program in MoM labeled Itemmake. You can make custom artifacts with it already.

~~~

Corruption is what I call a "grief" spell. You cast it at someone and it hurts even if he knows the Spell of Mastery and you just came back from banishment last turn. There are three ways I can see to use it:

1) Disable an enemy's powerful resource. Jafar has an admantium mine? Not anymore. Sharee's capital is immune to your Call the Void? Not after the nightshade is gone. 40- mana is a small price to pay to disrupt your opponent's plan, even if they'll get back on track within 10 turns. And if your opponent's race doesn't have priests/shamans, you've pretty much disabled it permanently.

2) Stop a city from growing. Corruption will remove the food gained from land, reducing the maximum possible size. This won't kill off the current population, but it will make some of them farmers and prevent further growth.

3) Turn a city into a liability. Corrupt every possible square. Eventually, the city will be nothing but farmers and rebels, and perhaps even starving. And if you have an absurd amount of mana, you could corrupt every square of every enemy city, until they have no more food to support their units, and they lose horrible I cannot see this actually happening without Great Wasting, but who knows?

~~~

Torin should definitely be Very Rare. If that doesn't re-balance Torin, then how about increasing his casting cost every time you cast Incarnate. The Gods might be getting rather annoyed that he keeps coming back.

Also, what happens if you cast Incarnate and someone else has Torin? Or if someone Disintegrated him?

Kev
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Re. Balancing the picks

Post by Kev » Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:38 pm

(moved)
Last edited by Kev on Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

momfreeek
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Post by momfreeek » Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:14 pm

How much of this stuff will be externalised in the server XML file?

Seems like starting restrictions (retort costs, max books in one realm, available races) and all spell costs, research costs and availability (common/uncommon/rare) wouldn't be too much to externalise and that'd be enough to balance till hearts content..?

Tweaking spell effects to make them all useful in a balanced system would be a step by step process but it'd be awesome once it got going.

Once multiplayer is fully operational with saving/resuming games, I can see all this really taking off. Till then there's not much point trying to balance things.

Dyslexic Q-Thief
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Post by Dyslexic Q-Thief » Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:55 pm

momfreeek wrote:Once multiplayer is fully operational with saving/resuming games, I can see all this really taking off. Till then there's not much point trying to balance things.
Exactly my thoughts. For instance, we don't know if the game will tend to end in the late, middle, or beginning game. The High Men aren't so powerful if they fall to a Gnoll horde before they get a Fighter's Guild. And Wolf Riders get squished beneath Paladins.

In fact, I almost wonder if the large amounts of crazy broken things will cancel out the other crazy broken things, and we will end up with a somewhat balanced game. I've heard arguments for just about every race and color, including Klackons. What's Stream of Life going to do against Invisible Flying Warships? How is Word of Recall going to stop Armageddon+Great Wasting+Meteor Showers? Will Lizardmen ever get anywhere? (Hint: No)

And even if there still are broken stuff, just a possible counter strategy can help diversify. If Flying Fortress was changed to be able to target any friendly city, High Men will seem less powerful, as they have no natural fliers. Not that doing that specific example would be a good idea.

Also, I think Retorts should just be a one-per-wizard thing. You get ten books+one retort, and you lose several books for the more powerful ones. That would kill two balance problems with one stone.

Virm
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Post by Virm » Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:29 am

I dunno. I'm a big fan of multiple retorts, myself. My personal favorite is grabbing Myrror, Node Mastery, and then picking a school of magic to dump my remaining books (normally nature).

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Lucern
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Post by Lucern » Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:29 am

I almost always have multiple retorts myself. Then again, I'm more of a 'Saxon chronicles' type MoM player. I try not to power-game the poor AI. I actually appreciate that MoM is in no way, shape, or form balanced, because everything (that works) is good in some way. Virtually anything is winnable with the right tactics. With that said, I play turn based strategy to relax, and I don't relax against real opponents (unless it's coop, and MoM defies cooperative play by the default rules). Therefore, I won't play against real opponents. The joy of this project for me is what I've been waiting for for years - the All Wizards Super Mega Huge map game. That and the sweet, sweet customizability. MoM will see goblins if I can figure out the graphics.


Why am I posting in this thread then? To ask that any great balancing done isn't foisted on everyone as default. I loved Age of Wonders, Shadow Magic, but it lost some of the charm of AOW 1 with its somewhat crude balancing act.

Alex777
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Post by Alex777 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:09 pm

I think people should be limited to 10 books (per color). Maybe even 9, so you can't get every spell. Also, I'd consider reverting to picking spells that are guaranteed to be in your spellbook, as in Table A.

Multi-color builds should be encouraged, as most people don't seem to think they're viable.

Iluvalar
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Post by Iluvalar » Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:59 am

I had a good idea some days ago..
Why not splitting the myrran retort into three different one ?
One for the race, one for the position on the other plan and the last one for the double mana in the forteress. And why not giving an extra pick for those who take weaker races: gnoll,klackon,lizard men ?

Sincerly, I think that everybody here understimate the strenght of those retort. The strongest unit of all the game is the ultra-elite hammerhand with adamantium weapon. And the easiest way to get it is to have the warlord retort. Channeler, myrran, archmage, death mastery, alchemist.. all of those worth it ! It may be easier at the very begining of the game with 11 books, but I'm not sure over the long term. My two cents..

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esper256
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Post by esper256 » Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:50 pm

Iluvalar wrote:I had a good idea some days ago..
Why not splitting the myrran retort into three different one ?
One for the race, one for the position on the other plan and the last one for the double mana in the forteress. And why not giving an extra pick for those who take weaker races: gnoll,klackon,lizard men ?

Sincerly, I think that everybody here understimate the strenght of those retort. The strongest unit of all the game is the ultra-elite hammerhand with adamantium weapon. And the easiest way to get it is to have the warlord retort. Channeler, myrran, archmage, death mastery, alchemist.. all of those worth it ! It may be easier at the very begining of the game with 11 books, but I'm not sure over the long term. My two cents..
I think most people agree that "in the long run" you can find many strategies that are good. I think discussion is a bit impossible unless people specify what they think is unable to do what.

If you play a game, without save or load, on impossible. You either don't make it to the point where your primary city can make ultra-elite hammerhand with adamantium weapons.. or you do, and you win the entire game with ease. This is the case where I think most people say that 11 book starts are by far the most powerful etc.

If you look at it from the perspective of, I just started a game on Medium difficulty and I got summon champion, summoned some heroes, leveled them up on some shrines and monster lairs and then went on a rampage taking over everywhere. Yes all the various retorts and strategies can be used to win the game. Invulnerability. Invisibility, Flight, lots of buffs + spell lock, etc etc.

But those two play styles are very different. And what is considered "balanced" and what is considered "not useful" is very different depending on which perspective you come from.

I think personally, most modern games are way overbalanced. It's like the saying "I'm special, just like everyone else". Some of these big budget modern games have game designers playtesting them until all the game choices are meaningless. Should I take +1 to strength or +1 to intelligence this level? It doesn't really matter since the game designers have thrown in perks either way to make me just as powerful no matter what I choose. Essentially overbalancing is a way of the game designers not wanting a crappy option in the game that nobody wants and therefore why waste artist's time making all the resources for that weapon/spell/item/character class/race etc if nobody will ever use it because it is obviously worse.

But in the same way, without things that are really good and some stuff that stinks, part of the strategy of a game is figuring out what's good and what's not. Now, I don't think it makes sense to make something big like a whole race, or color of magic suck. Sure they each need to have strategies that work within them to have a chance at winning. I also think it's ok for some of these strategies to be much better than most of the other ones, AS LONG AS there's some kind of element of rock paper scissors, where even though this 11book life strategy works better than 80% of all the other good strategies, a certain sorcery strategy can totally destroy it. And that's what makes a game balanced, and still fun.

So to summarize. I think it's good when all game elements have the potential to come in handy at some point. But at the same time some elements are somewhat to moderately better than others (even when factoring in the cost of getting it/casting it)

I think the game's balancing issues won't be a big deal (11book vs more balanced wizards) if the AI on impossible didn't cheat. Essentially if the AI didn't get huge magic power bonuses, and start with like a billion cities. Then you don't have that crazy overpowering initially that makes 11book starts so good. And all strategies will be able to come to fruition during most games.

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Post by Richrf » Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:36 pm

I think personally, most modern games are way overbalanced. It's like the saying "I'm special, just like everyone else". Some of these big budget modern games have game designers playtesting them until all the game choices are meaningless. Should I take +1 to strength or +1 to intelligence this level? It doesn't really matter since the game designers have thrown in perks either way to make me just as powerful no matter what I choose. Essentially overbalancing is a way of the game designers not wanting a crappy option in the game that nobody wants and therefore why waste artist's time making all the resources for that weapon/spell/item/character class/race etc if nobody will ever use it because it is obviously worse.
Agreed. It is what some games call "skill testers", some options are weaker or even totally bad on purpose, so as to differentiate between good players and bad ones... who know what to avoid...

If all options are equally good, it doesn't matter what you choose then, so where's the skill element?

momfreeek
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Post by momfreeek » Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:05 am

20 book start is not really workable. At 16 books you can have a 100% discount on casting costs which enables you to summon an infinite number of creatures every turn... this is fun but does become a bit uber-powerful (just get a city on magic roads and hammer the whole continent with endless swarms of creatures all in one turn).

Chaos is not made for an 11 book start, 9 books and channeler is better. I think its very different to other realms. With life you build a few units, buff them up and then conquer the map with your invincible army. With chaos you pump out troops knowing they will die and cause as much damage as possible. Use your spells to hamper the opposition making sure you get into combat (with warp wood and fireball.. or preferably warp-lightning you can stop most ranged attacks) and to finish things off. Don't waste mana on buffs or to save failing units from death but use it to press home the attack and conquer cities... if they fail, just send more next time. In the right circumstances, gargoyles, doom bats and chaos spawn can all be useful.. they all have major weaknesses but they do all have prominent strengths... unlike some of the life spells which are no-brainers in any situation.

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Post by Implode » Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:24 pm

momfreeek wrote:20 book start is not really workable. At 16 books you can have a 100% discount on casting costs which enables you to summon an infinite number of creatures every turn
Not if you pick recommended spell settings - they're capped at 90% reduction, but even that is hard to get since there's diminishing returns (10th book doesn't give as big of a reduction as the 9th book, and so on).

saxxonpike
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Post by saxxonpike » Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:27 am

I'm surprised more people haven't mentioned Crack's Call. It's stupidly, obscenely overpowered.
I think personally, most modern games are way overbalanced. It's like the saying "I'm special, just like everyone else".
Perhaps, however they don't want any such decision to be completely game-breaking. They also want to encourage some variety - if one combination was always the best, people would always use it. The way to do this correctly is to make all decisions balanced and viable, yet unique and distinct. Easier said than done. Most developers these days either lean too far towards unique (the margin between best and worst choices is huge) or balanced (everything plays exactly the same)

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Post by Virm » Sat May 03, 2008 2:27 pm

saxxonpike wrote:I'm surprised more people haven't mentioned Crack's Call. It's stupidly, obscenely overpowered.
To be honest, I don't know what you're talking about. I play a nature heavy wizard in almost every game, and in all the time I've been playing Crack's Call is on the list of most useless nature spells I've ever used.

Yes is big and powerful when it works. But while it claims to work 25% of the time, my own experience places that at closer to 5-10%. In addition, it has that chance per figure, not per unit. So what we end up with is a spell that's good for destroying walls, and 1 time in about 12 will kill a figure (possibly two) in a non-flying, corporeal unit.

That pretty much makes it useful as a blind luck attack against heroes (assuming that they haven't been given flying already) and ground-based summons (which by the time we're talking about something big enough to warrent taking the chance on an 'instant kill' limits us primarily to nature summons).

Oddly enough, if I remember right, I successfully used this on a hydra once, and all that happened is it lost it's current head and continued advancing on my troops. Needless to say, this spell does not impress me.


Edit: I will, however admit that this spell seems far more effective in the computer's hands, dropping anything I leave on the ground like flies.

saxxonpike
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Post by saxxonpike » Sun May 04, 2008 10:05 am

Virm wrote:Edit: I will, however admit that this spell seems far more effective in the computer's hands, dropping anything I leave on the ground like flies.
Yeah, that's what I was getting at. Strangely, they seem to have a better chance of a successful cast than I do...

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