Bugs (or exploits) and comments

So a friend discovered that you can trade negative quantities, effectively taking resources from other players. In fact, there’s no check against putting them into debt, so you can take a virtually unlimited amount of gold/mana/valor from them and leave them with a negative value. I’m really tempted to use this to create a ridiculously powerful Ent, then give back all the mana as if nothing out of the ordinary ever happened!

I noticed that I can continually apply the Enchantress ability on the same unit, and the effect is not only cumulative, but the timer appears to reset. Since the effect lasts 24 hours, but resets in 12, I could theoretically reduce a huge stack down to zero strength (maybe even into the negative??) within a couple days, and do so easily when combined with a Wizard to keep the stack rooted in place. I don’t know if this is intentional or not, but it seems like maybe the ability either shouldn’t stack or shouldn’t reset the timer on previously applied instances of the ability.

I’ve played through Wildriver Run on nightmare difficulty, and it wasn’t all that difficult. I was expecting to see bosses, like in some of the other maps, but instead it seemed like the only thing that made it at all difficult was that bodies rose quickly. Armed with artillery, gnostic mages, wizards, enchantresses, and a bridge witch, we were able to easily make a stand and suffer very few losses (which was really cool that we were able to form that kind of synergy between hero cards). Something like a Lich King or whatever would have actually posed a challenge.

I see that the gold generation system has been changed to a 24-hour standard. When I first started playing, I was confused by the variable payout period, but now I think that it actually plays better. With variable periods, there’s a counter balance between dwarves and humans, but now the humans are decidedly a better expenditure of valor. When humans paid out ever 48 hours, income was somewhat seldom compared to the dwarves 12 hours. You couldn’t recruit as often with humans because the gold wasn’t coming in so readily. But, grabbing dwarven settlements meant that you had fewer locations from which to recruit, due to the high valor cost. This balanced the two out, and lead me to try to grab a variety of settlements. With the 24-hour standard, I pretty much get the same gold every 24-hours per unit of valor spend if I go with humans or dwarves. Thus, I’m easily better off with humans due to having more locations from which to recruit. Dwarven settlements aren’t worth the extra cost of valor, except to be able to recruit from hero cards.

Having played the game for a bit and having a better understanding of the (former) rules, I think that variable payout periods adds much more gameplay and decision making.

Also, I’ve found the trolls to not be very good, overall. They’re too slow to be useful, and their settlements are too small to get much gold generation from. I’d like to see something which makes them considerably more powerful. Maybe if they always had really high strength, even out of the swamps, to make up for their lack of speed or something. Or, perhaps something that gives them more synergy with other hero units somehow.

Really great feedback as always. Thanks @capnbishop

I will try and fix that negative trade thing in the next few days.

That is how I imagined the new Enchantress ability worked. I have been leaning towards making the hero powers too powerful, then nerf them if we find they are just so powerful they are ruining the game.

The difficulty of the game is a big all over the place at the moment. My plan is to use the high score tables to work out which maps are too easy and too hard. If everybody is getting 80% then the missing needs to be more difficult. If everybody is failing, the mission needs to be easier. If there is a really wide spread in scores it might mean the mission is too random.

Did you and I chat about it in email at some stage?

There were two reasons I changed it to 24 hour standard even though I prefered the variable times.

  1. Player that started with Orcs and Humans, who were only paid every 48 hours, could be put at a much bigger disadvantage than intended simply because they might have to go very long periods with no gold right at the start of the game. - I wanted players to build a few armies when they login, not a lot of aries every few days.

  2. Nobody understood what the gold circles meant underneath the towns. Its was just confusing and I wanted to just have a number right there in the map. In their variable time system I would have to have had a gold amount, and a duration. I decided it was simpler to just have the number.

I’m open to changing back if the new system is just not as good, but I think there will be very little difference.

The valor cost if settlements right now is just a function of how much gold produced, so a human town that makes 100 a day is 2 valour and a Dwarf town that makes 200 a day is 4 valour.

Keep in mind that along with the standard 24h change, I also made it so that every Humans only produce half a gold, and each dwarf produces 2 gold. I hope the same tradeoffs still apply.

Yes, they need to be better. I want them to be more destructive and more powerful. Did you see made a troll wizard that can teleport his army to mana wells up to 10 leagues!

We did chat about gold generation via email a while back. My initial impression was that it was too confusing, but now I’m more of the opinion that the complexity adds a positive layer. Perhaps the issue is not that gold pays out at different rates, but rather that how it’s visually presented is at first unclear.

With variable payout periods, equal valor cost per daily gold made sense. Ultimately, costs and values were equal, because the frequent payouts of the dwaves was balanced by the fact that you’d have fewer dwarven settlements due to the valor cost. With a 24-hour standard, there’s no counter balance.

The issue becomes more clear if you consider a game where one player has all dwarves and another player has all humans. If both players spend all their valor as quickly as possible, the human player will have a greater number of settlements than the dwarven player, be able to generate more troops at a time, and also generates the same amount of gold at the same rate of every 24 hours.

With the same scenario, but with variable payout periods, the dwarf player will be able to generate troops regularly due to the steady gold income, but the human player has to wait and generate troops in large batches. Theoretically, they will generate a more equal amount of troops every 48 hours.

Previously, we had to choose between a regular income or more settlements to simultaneous recruit from. Now there’s not much of a choice. I believe that the 24-hour standard results in the dwarves having an overall lower value to the player, and the better option is to have a larger number of human settlements than a small number of dwarven settlements.

OK this is a good point.

Don’t forget you also need to consider that every Dwarf you train is only 14 strength and no longer producing 2 gold. Every human you train is 10 strength and only producing 0.5 gold. Nobody should be building armies at Dwarf towns!

I don’t want the races to be “balanced” but I think you are right that investing your very valuable valour on dwarf towns is a mistake right now (especially at the start of the game). Dwarf towns should be cheaper (This probably applies to Goblin towns too. )

I was just having a play around with the cost of these dwarf towns now and changed the valour cost from 12 to 9 for the larger fortresses (600 Gold a Day) and 4 to 3 for the small ones (200 Gold). But I also doubled the population of the small ones so it went back up to 6. (400 Gold a Day) (I like the idea that dwarf towns are always kind of big)