Ability timers and unit merging, possible bug


#1

I got some unexpected behavior when merging two stacks of Crystal Miners in an ongoing game. I merged a stack of 30 miners with 18h left on the timer into a stack of 10 miners with 4h left.

My expectation was that the resulting stack of 40 would retain the 4h timer (similar to buffs or levels), instead they were ready to activate (pleasant surprise that ;).

If this is not a bug, I would be curious what the actual mechanics of unit merging wrt. ability timers are. The help should then probably also be updated to clarify this point.


#2

This is expected behavior, though it’s a little unintuitive how it works at the moment. I don’t think clarifying it in-game is likely to happen, because there’s a todo item on the Trello board to make sure that when you merge units, you always get the best available statuses/combat xp bonuses/etc.


For the record, this is how it works now:

  1. Select a unit. This is the Selected Unit.
  2. Click the Merge button.
  3. Select a unit (or All) to merge into the Selected Unit.
  4. The Selected Unit’s population increases by the population of the Merged Unit(s), and the Merged Unit disappears.

This means that as long as the Selected Unit has a cooldown available, it will still have it available after the merge. The resulting stack will also have all the same buffs and status effects as the Selected Unit. You can use this to your advantage! If you have a unit of Swordsmen with lots of combat experience, merge it as the Selected Unit to give a big, permanent buff to the rest of your army! Conversely, say you have a large army trapped in the Chaos Webs of Zombie Spiders. Bring an un-trapped unit to them and merge them in as the Selected Unit: the previously snared units lose their snare and can now move with the other group!


#3

Yes, but you are missing my point. The selected unit had 4 hours left on the timer, the unit I was merging in had 18 hours. The resulting unit was ready to activate (i.e. 0 hours on the timer).

From your description it sounds as if we agree that one would expect the resulting unit to inherit the 4h timer of the selected unit.


#4

Oh! That absolutely does sound like a bug.


#5

Sorry about the confusion on this guys.

Last week when I added the code to make sure you always retain the best combat experience, I made it so that powers reset when you merge the unit.

There was a “trick” that experienced players know about, where you can merge spent armies into fresh armies and be able to fire the power again. But if you do it the wrong way around, and merge the fresh army into the old army, you lose the ability to fire the power.

I want to try and avoid punishing players for merging the wrong way around.

I thought it was a little unfair that you had to know the trick, and do it right way around, so the simplest thing was to just reset the power no matter what.

So before, you could fire one of the crystal miners, then merge them, then fire the larger unit again. Now you can fire both miners, merge them and fire the merged unit again. (You still have to have all the mana, and you are left with a larger more expensive unit to fire ect ect.)

If what we have now sounds too exploty I could do it so that merging units creates a period of disorganization while the units work out who is in charge.


#6

It sounds pretty strong, but I don’t know if I’d go so far as “exploity”. It does just feel kind of strange, though.


#7

As much as I love the idea of getting to double-use various units, I do think it’s too exploity, so would support some kind of cooldown disorganization.


#8

Hey,
did that also mean, that merging units would not only reset ability timers, units also will remain the highest combat experience? I personally found the ‘trick’ more like a strategic decision. Firing bows from a high level stack and merging low level units to refire them means a loss of the combat experience. Trying to prevent this means firing with the small unit and less mana, combining with the larger stack and refiring with higher mana costs. But then I have to wait 10h and can just use 2 attacks every 10h. (in this case) IMHO, ya, you need to know this little trick, but it was more tactical depth.


#9

+1


#10

For the record (I mentioned this someplace else as well), I feel like the natural behavior would be for the merged unit to inherit the either the lowest cooldown among the units that were merged, or the highest.