Re. Rebalancing....

Anything else to do with the original Master of Magic
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Re. Rebalancing....

Post by Kev » Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:05 pm

Just found the site, great idea, trying out the MP far as balancing the 1.31 version I have some opinions, which as we all know, are as common as the venerated sphincter of bodily waste....

as someone who has played literally thousands of hours of this game, and who has worked professionally on game balance with SSG, there is a LOT of balance work that needs to be done - unfortunately. Wouldn't really matter except for the multiplayer (human) aspect....which ensures that the most effective combos will always be used. In fact, with the default options, I would hazard a guess and say you will only see 11 book starts in MP if they are allowed. But assuming that everything is viable...lets see....


White is by far too powerful, I never use it (at start). The problem is mostly spell cost, i.e. heroism is too cheap, altar of battle too cheap, Torin too cheap, everything is cheap and powerful. EZ mode for sure. You could literally double the cost/research of most of the spells and it would STILL be the best magic school. Just compare lionheart to iron skin.....

Sorcery is also far too powerful, I never use it (at start). Its a different kind of power, instead of making your units omnipotent, it makes them untargetable and lets you bamboozle the AI into inaction. Flight and Invis and confusion and mind storm = free treasure/cities all day long with a SPEARMAN. A single spearman. And it has the absolute best spell in the entire game - word of recall. That lowly spell can easily win wars (take one city in enemy land and then teleport in the best of your units as needed....). As with life, the solution is cost - make sorcery expensive. The combat spells are not badly priced, but the overland/unit buffs are incredibly cheap for what they do (400-ish in buffs, and you have a flying, unkillable hero that is heavily protected from dispelling). Word of recall is easily worth 30 mana, and possibly more. Magic immunity and guardian wind should NOT be in the same school of magic, much less with spell lock. Magic immunity should not be enchantable either. Time stop should not exist. etc.

Death is balanced, but crudely. It has a handful of decent spells, a great number of shitty ones, and a couple of EXTREMELY good summoned creatures (wraiths and shadow demons). A smart player can wtfpwn with either of those 2 units (the SD's need some movement love though). But without either of those (or death knights), death is mediocre due to relying on resistance rolls getting missed, and flat out terrible against white magic. Just a all or nothing setup - either you get your wraiths and own, or you struggle like hell with your normal units and black prayer. I wouldnt mess with it too much except to fix the vampirism/wraithform weapon enchant so that it works, and maybe, just maybe, give ghouls or skeletons a bit more attack power. It is similiar to nature in that you are so reliant on summoning, which is an expensive habit.

Chaos is hard to play, because it requires a tremendous amount of both magic skill and mana to be effective. The best strat revolves around summoned beasts + chaos channeled units + warp reality. Much cheaper and more reliable than damage spells, esp. for high level combat. Just start with hell hounds, which are the BEST low level critter, and then gargoyles, then hydras. With WR on, most enemies cannot even hit them. Flame strike rocks, doom bolt rocks, all the resistable spells suck. I would be careful about lowering spell costs however.....maybe 5 on some but certainly no more. The creatures could be cheaper however, hell hounds are good but the rest are terrible for the price, until you get to the hydra. Its hard to give chaos anything when it is SO powerful at end game (armageddon is like time stop = game over usually, and you can weenie attack stuff with 1 unit + doombolt or flame strike very effectively). I think you could drop chaos channels down to 40 instead of 50 and maybe warp reality down to 40 as well, but its a pretty good balance right now. Its crappy at the start, but its very dangerous with 120-150 skill.

Nature is the gimp, as we all know. The lesser creatures suck, the buffs are terrible for the price - worst buffs/mana in game once you get past giant str/stone skin (you CAN use them on fantastic units however). Regen is quite nice, and the top-end critters are also very good, but very little to work with in the mid-game. What it needs is more freeze/crowd control (to combine with missle troops) or maybe a combat version of tranquility or just to lower the cost on iron skin and pathfinding....what it really needs is to get endurance instead of Life magic having it. I would take 2 books for endurance at the start every time. Sprites are 100 with 3 upkeep? that is laughable. Web/cracks call is the only decent combat spell, and it is woefully unreliable in a real fight (but GREAT for killing wyrms in ruins!). Make no mistake, Web is a fantastic spell (think of it as a 2 turn stun), but you are usually just delaying the inevitable. Aside from Gaias blessing to ramp your population/score up, there is nothing that nature magic does that makes it worth picking the books. Possibly the best selection of summoned units once you make it to gorgons, but 1 or 2 life books will get you way more "healing and durability" than triple the amount of nature books. And every school has some nice critters, so its weak when that is ALL you have.

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Post by Iluvalar » Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:11 pm

well, i guess the only thing implode have to do to rebalance the nature realm is to remove the 25 population cap of the cities. Then you'll see what change terrain and gaias blessing are good for :) .

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Post by Alex777 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:21 pm

I'd really like to see a wholesale balancing and re-balancing, based on common consensus.

I think 11-book starts should be removed entirely. (spend that last pick on a minor color or a retort!)

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Post by Kev » Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:00 pm

I agree that 11 book starts should be removed, or that will be all you see. In fact, I would wager that 11 book white would be the choice of most/all players who want to win - it is far and away the most powerful setup, and easily trumps 11 black (the other super fast starting setup). But there is no way around people playing the most effective combo - if 10 books max are allowed you will see a continual stream of alchemy-warlord-white+blue, because THAT is far and away the best setup once you disallow 11 books. Strategic MP games almost always come down to mobility - hit them where they are weak, avoid their strong stuff. White+blue allows for great mobility (endurance,flight,island,wind walking) AND gives manufactured units the most buff power (any white spell, invis, spell lock, flight). Not to mention that if the game goes on for any length of time, the white/blue player will definitely have a faster/stronger/more survivable hero stack (assuming equal luck in logistics and map goodies). Once you get a couple of champions (with heroism, flight,invul,invis,spell lock, etc etc) moving at like 5-6 squares it is a trivial thing to clean the map of all treasure, and in time, of all opposition. An invisible Warrax at 6th or 7th level can easily kill wyrm lairs and great drakes, and once he gets geared with some items can kite and nuke even elite paladins without much trouble. Yes, he will nuke paladins. With magic. Go try it out.

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Post by Implode » Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:25 pm

I quite like the idea of allowing 11 book starts, but forcing you to pick one of the pre-defined wizards (none of who have 11 picks in one magic realm). If you put it on custom difficulty you can set it up like that.

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Post by TurboJ » Mon May 19, 2008 1:03 am

What can one do against AI wraiths with no white magic?
They come as a nice group of 9 and kill my sky drakes so easily...

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Post by Loras » Mon May 19, 2008 8:02 pm

A Charmed Hero?

The power of wraiths is their lifesteal. So just get units that don't fail a resistance roll.

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Re: Re. Rebalancing....

Post by klausbreuer » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:18 pm

Thanks for quite some interesting info - I'll be sure to try it all :wink:

My idea would be that the game has a major options screen: all options off means the game is exactly like the original. Otherwise, feel free to optionally include all kinds of things, such as "No 11th book allowed" or somesuch. Obviously, in multiplayer all players would need the same options...

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Re: Re. Rebalancing....

Post by Virm » Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:27 pm

klausbreuer wrote:Obviously, in multiplayer all players would need the same options...

I'm pretty sure that all of that is server-side setup. The client-side would just need to connect to the server and would only be allowed to make choices based upon the rules for the game as set at the server.

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Re: Re. Rebalancing....

Post by elliott20 » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:29 am

is it possible for us to filter out the bots better? these bots are starting to get pretty annoying.

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Re: Re. Rebalancing....

Post by Darkpriest667 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:24 pm

I agree 11 white is entirely too powerful.... honestly anyone with more than 9 is incredibly powerful to defeat with life or sorcery

I think also there should be a limit on how many books you can take of one color 8 or 9 would be my vote

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