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Author Topic: Balance issues for 2.3.1  (Read 43820 times)

Aethelred

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Balance issues for 2.3.1
« on: June 17, 2007, 07:38:39 PM »
Added thread for balance issues: --aw





Love the mod, but I think it needs rebalancing. Low-tier alliance troops just get massacred by low-tier orc troops. Perhaps the stats are similar, I haven't checked, but the orc weapons do so much more damage they just chop through your puny little Rohan Youths. Playing as one of the Rohirrim I find it virtually impossible to keep them alive long enough to advance. I had noticed this when playing as a Gondorian in the .751 version, but Gondor has some better lower level troops so it's not as bad. Even when your troops are higher tier I still find myself forced to play as a tank and take on entire armies myself.

It seems to me that not only are the orcs more numerous, they're also better individually which just shouldn't be the case. If it was, then it doesn't make much sense that the free peoples of Middle Earth were able to achieve any victories at all never mind ones in which they were massively outnumbered as at Helm's Deep and the Fields of Pelennor. It reminds me of the misportrayal in the film version in which the heroes seem to be the only people capable of killing orcs (count how many standard Gondorian soldiers you can see killing orcs in the film - aside from with bows, although the Rohirrim were a bit more effective).

In Tolkien it always seemed to me that the orcs' main strength was the fact that they usually have superiority in numbers. Their weapons or armour mostly aren't effective or well-made. Even the Uruk Hai aren't portrayed as that powerful individually despite them supposedly being an improved version of an orc, for example Ugluk's band still fly from the Rohirrim and get massacred when caught. Orc troops should be individually inferior in stats and equipment to their alliance equivalents. I think that would have been a better way for TLD to go, the orc weapons are too good and it's particularly imbalanced with lower-tier troops.

Another issue I have is the starting stats for Elves. These are exactly the same as far as I can see as for humans, which is odd. Elves should start with much higher stats, on the basis that there are very few young inexperienced elves left and the elves you play as or fight with ought to be centuries old already. You have to cheat and do a character export/edit/import trick to get a proper Elf starting character. Both Elf player characters and soldiers should have hugely superior stats to all other troops, based on the fact they are more experienced than and intended to be naturally superior to any mortals. Elves should have very high agility, high strength, high intelligence, very high tracking, athletics and pathfinding, and very high weapon skills (not for crossbows and lower for two-handed weapons). I guess you didn't want Elves to be too powerful, but they really should be and it doesn't even imbalance the game much when being an elf since it's tough to form an elf army. There should probably be another trading system for elves in Elf territories as well; I don't know exactly that it is, but it seems very wrong to be buying items from a fellow elf.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2007, 05:46:00 PM by Ancientwanker »

Demonic Spoon

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Re: Needs Rebalancing?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2007, 07:56:58 PM »
Quote
Love the mod, but I think it needs rebalancing. Low-tier alliance troops just get massacred by low-tier orc troops. Perhaps the stats are similar, I haven't checked, but the orc weapons do so much more damage they just chop through your puny little Rohan Youths. Playing as one of the Rohirrim I find it virtually impossible to keep them alive long enough to advance. I had noticed this when playing as a Gondorian in the .751 version, but Gondor has some better lower level troops so it's not as bad. Even when your troops are higher tier I still find myself forced to play as a tank and take on entire armies myself.

The Youths are not supposed to be strong. Higher tier troops can massacre groops of orcs fairly well, I don't know what you're complaining about.

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It seems to me that not only are the orcs more numerous, they're also better individually which just shouldn't be the case. If it was, then it doesn't make much sense that the free peoples of Middle Earth were able to achieve any victories at all never mind ones in which they were massively outnumbered as at Helm's Deep and the Fields of Pelennor. It reminds me of the misportrayal in the film version in which the heroes seem to be the only people capable of killing orcs (count how many standard Gondorian soldiers you can see killing orcs in the film - aside from with bows, although the Rohirrim were a bit more effective).

You also don't see gondorian soldiers falling to orcs, either...Regardless, they are not better individually except in tier 1.

Offline Ancientwanker

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Re: Needs Rebalancing?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2007, 08:00:18 PM »
There are always balancing issues with the mod but the real issue is more strategic at the moment. You can change the orc stats yourself at the old man. Assuming that routine is still functioning, I havent checked but it should be good.

Offline Llew

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Re: Needs Rebalancing?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2007, 08:42:27 PM »
The Youths are not supposed to be strong. Higher tier troops can massacre groops of orcs fairly well, I don't know what you're complaining about.

No. All my higher tier troops die like flys(Gondor and Rohan), and it really sux.


 
There are always balancing issues with the mod but the real issue is more strategic at the moment. You can change the orc stats yourself at the old man. Assuming that routine is still functioning, I havent checked but it should be good.

It's not. I don't see him anywhere in the fort.

He's only there on day one -aw
« Last Edit: June 17, 2007, 08:44:44 PM by Ancientwanker »

Aethelred

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Re: Needs Rebalancing?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2007, 10:59:13 PM »
He's only there on day one? Oh feck, that sucks, what are you supposed to do if you start far away from the Brigand fort? He should really be in every town if he's going to be there only for 1 day. I hope the number of great hosts of Mordor is 4 by default, or my current game is wasted. ???

--thats a good point now that you can start anywhere, Ill think about that.

In any case it's not so much the stats as the weapons and armour that are the biggest problem. Too many orcs have big two handed weapons that kill most infantry in two hits, and too many of them have good chain armour. Orcs ought to have their own less powerful two-handed weapons, reflecting the poorer craftsmanship, instead of the vanilla giant axes.

They are described as good craftsmen when it comes to weapons and armor. I sort of fudge a bit giving them crappy armor though. Most of their mail is shitty. If you lower their stats, youll see a difference. You can reduce their raw weapon skill and their power-skills and toughness.

In terms of strategic issues you might want to get the enemy reporting script used on the Battle for Sicily mod. If you haven't played it, in that towns report the fact that enemy armies are close to them, so friendly armies head over to the area to find the reported enemy. You could also send messages yourself reporting that enemy troops were close by, causing allied armies to head to your position and investigate. That would be a great addition to TLD, and would solve the problem of your allies' great hosts wandering around the other side of the map while the enemy great host is menacing their capital.

Im not doing the war revamp atm. Its all very easy now though with the new commands. You can build pretty intricate war routines with just a few hundred lines.

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The Youths are not supposed to be strong. Higher tier troops can massacre groops of orcs fairly well, I don't know what you're complaining about.

The point is that you start out with Youths, and it's bloody hard to keep your pathetic youths alive long enough for them to become competitive. My obvious complaint is that while the allied troops have completely rubbish troops in the lower tiers, the enemy doesn't.

Have you played as a Rohirrim? I found it too hard to keep my men alive for more than one or two battles against pretty much any Isengard army, and though it's possible to let them die and then solo the remaining 30+ orcs, that's hardly much fun.

Quote
You also don't see gondorian soldiers falling to orcs, either...Regardless, they are not better individually except in tier 1.

Yes you do! You see lots of Gondorian soldiers getting bashed by hammers, spiked sticks, jumped on, smashed by trolls etc. Faramir is pretty much the only Gondorian you see killing orcs, while the rest just fall over and die.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2007, 04:56:04 PM by Ancientwanker »

Offline Ron Losey

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Re: Needs Rebalancing?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2007, 11:22:44 PM »
Before anyone panics about the balance, wait and see how the RCM project comes out.  (Maybe next week)  Nothing in Native, or any damage models based on it, really balance right.

Hopefully the RCM version will put realistic problems into huge axes (huge axes are slow), and realistic advantages to armored horse (instead of those slow-moving goats or whatever they were in Native), and an armor balance somewhat related to reason, and the other balance issues will sort of melt away or become less noticeable.

It should be good - I have a lot of good models now to draw well-tested stats from, and a good test team assembled to pick up the bugs.

Byakuyad

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Re: Needs Rebalancing?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2007, 11:34:38 PM »
well in my opinion, the alliance troops are really strong at high level.

--my experience too. but you have to get there.

i can take on great hosts with considerably less troops and most of them would survive.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2007, 05:37:41 AM by Ancientwanker »

Aethelred

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Re: Needs Rebalancing?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2007, 11:35:18 PM »
I hope it makes spears faster, right now the spears act as if you're thrusting them through water rather than air.

Huge axes should be fast when swinging and slow to prepare/recover from a swing, but I guess you can't mod that. They'd be a heck of a lot less useful in M&B if your own troops weren't protected from friendly swings in melee. :P

To Byakuyad: what if you don't do any fighting though?

Offline Ron Losey

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Re: Needs Rebalancing?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2007, 11:46:09 PM »
If you want to know how the RCM model works, check out Onin-no-Ran or Mesoamerica ... they are running custom RCM versions.  (The ASLOW RCM version is still early-stage construction.)  Or, just wait ... the TLD Optional RCM shouldn't take more than a week or so.  It changes the entire damage scale ... the speed of some spears will be the least of your worries.

I figure most people will want to use the RCM version, but we will be releasing it as an optional package - anyone wishing to remain with the Native damage model may do so.

Offline benpenguin

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Re: Needs Rebalancing?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2007, 11:53:26 PM »
Therefore the most obvious thing to do is to:
1: Weaken orc LOW TIER troops' armours and weapons, but improve their numbers.
2: Give alliance LOW TIER troops' slightly better stats.  I suggest raising iron skin and strength a bit so tht they can take on a few more hits.

And yes...how possibly do u guys build an elven army without cheating? The one pathetic elven guardsman or whtsoever Galadriel gave me in the first day couldn't last 3 sec in a bunch of bandits.

1 last thing...I want to see higher wages in TLD in future...I don't suppose a High Captain of Gondor to have to trade around and loot A LOT of enemy bodies for cracked weap to resell in order to feed his army?

Oh, the old man...Well he's supposed to be a buffer for any imbalance issues.  I don't like the idea of relying on him.

Aethelred

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Re: Needs Rebalancing?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2007, 12:16:35 AM »
At the moment I'm getting 3 scout units per week upon request. You can buy 7 scouts from the 'tavern' guy in Cerin Dolen but that seems to be a one-shot source - since I first hired them there haven't been any more on offer. It's certainly difficult building a large army, if I hadn't 'cheated' to give my character more realistically good Elvish stats my army would have been totally useless. I've yet to make it past double figures, at the moment I have 7 and we just lure enemies towards bigger armies then join in the fray. At the start I managed by killing Dol Guldur scouts that were fighting with Mirkwood scouts. Hopefully now my rank is quite high I'll get more troops allocated to me.

I've played Onin-no-Ran, personally I thought that although the high damage values for weapons were great fun I was able to act like a laser death ray; I could just run through the enemy and pretty much every poke of my spear killed someone. I also thought the armour values were a bit high - I could buy armour that made me impregnable to virtually anything, and only needed to worry about a few troops with more powerful weapons. Of course those problems are maybe specific to that mod.

Offline Ron Losey

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Re: Needs Rebalancing?
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2007, 01:07:17 AM »
The issue you mention in ONR was not a problem of the RCM, but an issue of Japanese history.  In Japan of that period, samurai had deadly weapons and sturdy armor ... peasants had pretty much zilch.  Therefore, in ONR it was possible for anyone with decent armor and weapons to wipe out armies of rabble, and inversely, attacking professional troops with less that high-end warriors would usually result in a massacre the other way.  The most common opponents, however, were gangs of poor trash such that any decent street fighter could take out several with a kitchen knife.  Such was Japan in the time of the Onin War.

The high damage on the weapons was based off of expected incapacitating wounds from test cuts.  The armor values were then based off of those numbers and test cuts against armor.  That was why it was the "Realistic Combat Model", instead of just the "rebalanced model".  Reality sucks - most people can't just take a hit in the head with an axe and keep fighting, unless they are wearing a good sturdy helmet ... and then, there's a chance they will prove nearly impervious to being hit in the head.  Truth hurts.

But relevantly, TLD will not have the extreme disparity between warriors and peasants seen in ONR, nor the extreme disparity between sides seen in Mesoamerica.  TLD has a more even curve on troop type and improvements in armor.  It will, however, still benefit by players no longer being unstoppable gods of war, and by heavy weapons actually having some trade-off between damage and speed, and by armor being more than decorative, and by horses that move faster than glaciers.  (Yes, that means no more solo attacks on a Great Host - you would be cut down like grass.)  There will be some tactics to who you hit and where ... not just how many levels you have, but actually the decisions you make.

Anyway, everybody wait for that before anybody decides to panic over balance issues.  Most of the developers on this board are anticipating this, so nobody is going to try too hard to balance Native-based models until they see how the RCM conversion comes out.  I'm expecting good results, or I wouldn't be planning on putting 100 hours of work into writing and debugging it in the next week or so.  (I figure about 20 hours to write it, and most things take four times as long to proof and debug as they do to write.)  This conversion, although being offered as optional this time around, has been in the discussion for a long time as being a solution to the otherwise infinite string of combat balance issues.

DaBlade

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Re: Needs Rebalancing?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2007, 01:13:49 AM »
I like to play as Rohan. The problem is you have to make them fight on foot until they get armored horses, or they'll be slaughtered by orcs. There are just too many orc units capable of killing a medium horse with one hit. After they get armored horses, they can handle themselves much better.

I don't know if RCM will change any of this, though.

Offline Ron Losey

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Re: Needs Rebalancing?
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2007, 01:21:20 AM »
Not sure what portion of the Rohan horse are armored.  However, RCM certainly improves the speed of the horses ... so they will certainly take a lot fewer hits.  Those hits will probably be worse, granted, but with good tactics, the ratio of horses going down in the other mods was not that unreasonable.

The horses in Native were so darn slow that infantry could swarm them - neither realistic nor particularly playable.

Aethelred

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Re: Needs Rebalancing?
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2007, 01:29:28 AM »
Sure sure, I still think the weapon damage and armour values were exaggerated. I wasn't talking just about massacring unarmoured peasants anyway - armoured opponents didn't fair much better. With the simplistic damage model of M&B it just didn't feel right - yes, most people can't take an axe to the head and keep fighting but they won't instantly die from a spear poke in the legs. And a peasant with an axe can still hurt you if you have a sturdy helmet on, even if the axe doesn't penetrate you don't want a heavy bash on the helmet. It's also rather difficult to make 20 lethal spear thrusts in a row. You can't really make M&B combat and damage realistic, so probably rebalanced mod is a better name.

I've never felt that horses are too slow - slow to accelerate maybe. Top speed feels about right but I'm no rider though. It's more AI cavalry stupidity that causes them to get swarmed. It's perfectly possible to blast through infantry with a native armoured horse, the AI just doesn't do it right.