Elf Zombies OP?


#1

So this just seems odd to me… Elf Zombies have the same power as orc zombies? More than human zombies? but way more speed than either? With the only down side being smaller populations. Seems wrong! Goblins and Elves have the same speed but its 8 power to 14, an elf is stronger than a goblin even with the goblins racial bonus. Quick breakdown.
Zombie Humans, population 5/5 power 2/5 speed 2/5
Zombie Dwarves, population 4/5 power 4/5 speed 1/5
Zombie Orcs, population 5/5 power 3/5 speed 2/5
Zombie Trolls, population 1/5, power 5/5, speed 1/5
Zombie Elves, population 1/5, power 3/5, speed 5/5
Zombie Goblins, population 2/5, power 1/5, speed 5/5
Are there any other factors? Seems wrong to have zombies as strong as orcs but fast as goblins. Maybe a change to their passive? Reduce them to 10 power and give them +10 power in a forest?


#2

I wouldn’t want zombie elves to be any weaker than they already are. Sure their base individual strength is “high”, but zombie strength scales directly with both base strength and population.

All zombies rise at approximately the same rate as a proportion of their graveyard. That is, given the same amount of time, the same percentage of any graveyard will have risen on average*. If enough time has passed for 30% of a Goblin graveyard to rise from the dead, then the same is true for every other graveyard created at the same time, no matter the race. So, comparing the total unit strength x settlement population is a useful way to make a comparison between the relative powers of any given zombie stacks you’re likely to actually encounter.


Zombified Village Strength

Race    | STR | POP | Total
--------|-----|-----|------
Dwarves | 18  | 200 | 3600
Orcs    | 14  | 200 | 2800
Humans  | 12  | 200 | 2400
Trolls  | 20  | 50  | 1000
Goblins | 8   | 100 | 800
Elves   | 14  | 50  | 700

Comparing Villages (small, common settlements), Elves come in dead last. Ouch. But, they and Goblins are the fastest races, so them coming in at the bottom isn’t necessarily so surprising. The only real outlier here is the Troll village, which is both slow as mud and very weak.

Zombified Fortress Strength

Race    | STR | POP | Total
--------|-----|-----|------
Orcs    | 14  | 650 | 9100
Humans  | 12  | 650 | 7800
Dwarves | 18  | 340 | 6120
Trolls  | 20  | 175 | 3500
Elves   | 14  | 175 | 2450
Goblins | 8   | 225 | 1800

Things move around a little bit when looking at Fortresses (big settlements with (dead) guard units). The Elves jump past Goblins in total strength thanks to getting a bigger population boost, and the Dwarves fall below the Orcs and Humans for the inverse reason. But the Elves still sit at the bottom of the table, in the “fast zombies” group.


For my money, Elves and Goblins are right where they should be on the power curve. They’re strong enough to be relevant considering their available population, but significantly weaker than any other, slower zombie type.

If anything, these tables reveal that the slow zombies – especially the Trolls – are probably too weak. They’re the slowest base enemies, they always spawn in incredibly punishing terrain, and their total strength pales in comparison to the quicker Orc and Human zombies.


*It would be kinda cool if there were a race that rose from the dead extra fast or something, but that’s neither here nor there.


#3

thats exactly the kind of thing im hoping for! Maybe its just thematically vulgar that an elf zombie can match an orc zombie in power, similar to how the Goblins are a low population faction; seems out of place!
Since a single zombie can take a city or mana well, speed definitely has this power variable that doesnt fit into balancing all the types numerically, and there can be this big gap between goblins and elves, both being fast, but one being just strong enough that you cant just train a single stack of units to counter it.
And since towns are in 3 clusters, goblins and elves will quickly take over all three the fastest. There are no four speed zombies, could make Elves 4 speed and give them freedom of movement in forests instead.

I hope that we can see more asymmetrical forms of racial distinction among the zombies someday, maybe even a second type of zombie per faction to mix things up. Maybe other factors like ranged resistance or magic resistance. Trolls could use some of that!


#4

I definitely agree that troll zombies are underpowered. They’re incredibly slow, but the strength of the individual groups that pop out are trivial compared to humans/orcs and dwarves. Elves seem to be in a nice place cause they are fast and weak.


#5

Sure. But in practice, it’s extremely rare to actually encounter a single zombie, unless it’s the first spawn from a low-population graveyard. The best estimate I can think of for the strength of an arbitrary zombie stack that’s wandering around looking for brains is just “some fraction of the total settlement strength for that race.” And you point out yourself that the speed factor doesn’t lend itself to numerical comparisons, so the most sensible thing seems to be “make the fast zombies weaker.” Which is what we have currently, Trolls notwithstanding :confounded:

True. But even an entire set of three Elven or Goblin cities doesn’t come close to the power output of a single “Strong” fortress. It’s not even 50%.

Zombified Fortress Strength

Race    | STR | POP | Total
--------|-----|-----|------
Orcs    | 14  | 650 | 9100
Humans  | 12  | 650 | 7800

Two Villages + a Fortress

Race    | STR | POP | Total
--------|-----|-----|------
Elves   | 14  | 275 | 3850
Goblins | 8   | 425 | 3400

I’m just not convinced that zombie elves are any stronger than they should be, given this sort of data. And given the more feelings-based “data” I’ve collected over many months of play: I don’t really care when I lose an Elf city unless it’s my last one in the area or it’s a tournament game. If a Human or Orc fortress falls, I care a lot.

Elf and Goblin zombies are both 4h/League so I’m unsure what you mean by this.

From my standpoint, this seems to be your primary objection. Personally, I like that elven zombies are strong–it fits with my mental mythology. But if your default Elves are germanic/norse rather than Tolkien style, I can certainly see the conflict :wink: To that I say… take it up with the developers. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Me too! Various incarnations of “more cool zombie powers” are popular requests around here, and the devs have said they intend to add more diversity after first full, official release. So keep the suggestions coming! :grinning:


#6

I thought that was exactly the gimmick that immortal spiders have? And damn can those be overpowering early-game. 3000str units emerging after the 250str guardian has been overpowered. From what I’ve seen, the same trend applies with the mythical creatures? The undead hydra are dead-last, undead gryphons and spiders are OP due to strenght and numbers and undead ents can be unstoppable but slow due to their power-up?

BTW, those tables you made are real useful, Dr. Bwaa! Thanks!


#7

Except that every cluster usually has a fortress, which requires raw power to take over. Which is what the elves and goblins do not excel at.

Likewise. Lose an elf fortress? Meh, it was probably halfway gone anyway, so at most they got ~1.5K worth of zombies.
Lose a human or orc fortress? Thats about 6K-8K worth of zombies lying there. And that’s without the terrain bonus.

Yeah, DrBwaa is our Head Statistics Guy here on the forums :slight_smile:
He always comes up with really useful tables for the more technical discussions.


#8

meant 5 hour speed* not 4 hour e.e 4 6 and 8, maybe Jay doesnt like odd numbers


#9

I hate odd numbers. :slight_smile:

So my take away from speed reading this thread is that the zombie trolls are underpowered given thier low numbers and slow terrain.

Because they are slow, in slow terrain, they are never really a threat to further expansion of the blight, so they should be really tough to go in and clear out. Perhaps even as much as double what they currently are. (That might be too much.)


#10

I would love to playtest this. I even think doubling their strength might not even be going far enough, but I could be wrong about that.

The numbers below are the totals strength in “zombified population of one fortress and two villages,” as an estimate of “average racial strength on a given map”. I’ve doubled Troll strength in the table below.

Race    | STR | POP  | Total
--------|-----|------|------
Orcs    | 14  | 1050 | 14700
Dwarves | 18  | 740  | 13320
Humans  | 12  | 1050 | 12600
Trolls  | 40  | 275  | 11000
Elves   | 14  | 275  | 3850
Goblins | 8   | 425  | 3400

Obviously, doubling Troll strength to 40 would give them a hefty boost, but it still doesn’t even bring them up to Dwarf status. However I think playtesting at 40 is probably the right move. I can think of two immediate reasons for not going all the way to 60 right off the bat:

  • Since they’re so slow, it’s actually somewhat rare to encounter them outside of their swamps. If we assume the +50% strength buff, they jump to the top of the table (after Dwarves, since we should give them the same treatment).
  • Trolls with 60 base strength might make the Trailblazer an automatic death sentence. :grinning:

Like I said, I’d love to playtest this. It would be great if someday all settlements were as important to protect as Orc or Human ones.


#11

I’ll have a look into bringing back the experimental difficulty setting for a while. Do we need to also boost the base strength on the living troll?


#12

That might actually be a good idea. While they have a good power:gold ratio, their slowness does limit their usability, and their small population and unit sizes means they’re actually not that much more powerful.

Same on the Zombie Trolls, though doubling their strength might be a tad too much (but that might just be because they feel tougher than they are).


#13

I think living Trolls are likely strong enough, since they have Tangle Mages and so on. Though maybe it’ll be necessary to allow them to fight back against their dead friends…


#14

Well, trolls sorta suffer from the same issues as their undead brethren don’t they?
And while Tanglemages are extremely useful, they only get you in the general area where you need to be.
Also, the bigger problem is probably that it can become really hard to win in troll-on-troll action. Because the undead would be 2-3 times as strong, and especially early-game have a numerical advantage.

There is only so much you can do with tactics and abilities, especially when playing a slow race.


#15

I don’t suppose it’d make any sense to change trolls movement from being based on roads to being based on the marshlands?


#16

That would cause some issues.

  • Outside of troll areas they would be permanently crippled in speed (the rest of the world would become off-road)
  • it would introduce more needless complexity and confusion: Every unit (bar flyers) works the same way, with the only differences being their baseline speed. But now the Troll race units suddenly work differently. This means another seperate variable people need to take into account.
  • im not sure if it’s even realistically implementable. Depends on how the game works internally, but they would have to create a seperate system for this race.