Giving standard zombies a boost


#1

So I still really feel like the played has a pretty sizable advantage over the undead… at really any difficulty level.

From my observations, Orcs and humans are the most dangerous of the immortal races overall, and trolls are some of the weakest.

I feel like part of that it that speed is an incredibly important stat in this game, because it really makes a difference as to who gets to the resources (villages and mana pools) first.

Immortals do not benefit from playing defensively. As their only resource is the number of bodies that exist in a village, claiming more than 50% of the villages is probably the only way they stand a chance, and even then, I’ve won games where undead claimed more than 50% of the map.

Also those bodies only ever produce standard units, unless they reach a mana pool where they get 1 (albeit a very powerful one) hero.

Meanwhile the player has a deck full of hero cards that do not require reaching a specific point (mana pool) to produce.

I feel like my thoughts are getting a little scattered here, and I don’t want to make too many suggestions but rather propose a thought experiment:

If the immortals were a player, what would the player need to have a balanced chance of beating the other players.

In my mind, based on difficulty levels, On normal I’d want the immortals to have say a 30% chance of winning, a 50% chance on hard, and a 70-80% chance on nightmare.

So, if you were playing as the undead, what would you want to counter balance the other players advantages?

I would want base units that are stronger and faster than their mortal counterparts. I’d also like some way to produce boss units come mid to late game when all mana pools are typically blighted or deep in player territory.


#2

The undead have some sizable advantages over players as well though.

It’s true that don’t have nearly the number of heroes of the player, but the heroes they do have often have powerful and unique AoE abilities, which can singlehandedly win engagements.

Their other main advantage that they don’t need resources like the players do. The undead are more or less permanently “recruiting” from their settlements, and always fire their abilities continiously. The players on the other hand need to worry about conserving their gold and mana, and can only deploy their full potential after a significant amount of time.

They also have a strength advantage on “base” units, and receive a terrain bonus. Although the player’s ability to use fortifications and their high number of generals usually evens that out.

Lastly, zombies dont have to worry about being online. Player’s can be hamstrung by real life, the undead are AI and therefore are immune to reality :smiley:


#3

So in short: I agree with you. On the flip side, my point is that even playing regularly on nightmare difficulty I have yet to lose. I even recently finished a game where the undead took out over 75% of the board (we both had huge losses due to sleeping through important battles) and we STILL won the game.

I would expect that with a name like “nightmare” and it being the hardest difficulty, I’d be losing at least 50% of my games.


#4

Im not sure we can use that game as an example, the jester allowed us to regroup and survive.
The undead are unthinking and that is their main disadvantage.
The recent change to deployment have made things harder for the players but really the main hazard is the players themselves.
Either we oversleep, can’t log on or a team mate goes afk.
I think what you are looking for is a PvP challenge, where someone plays the necro controlling the zombies.
But i don’t think you would need to change much. zombies would go by normal behaviour unless ordered. the only cards you would need would be six cards, one for each race which you can switch between the boss types to choose what would get created.
Or maybe Fog of War where you get the original map but it only updates visibly when you have a unit within 3 spaces.


#5

PvP would be interesting, though you would risk some of the same issues that Neptune has. Still, I agree that the players are their own worst enemy. The zombies are very predictable and use horrible tactics, allowing a quick and knowledgable player to run circles around them when a human enemy would have wiped the floor with them.

From my own experiences with Hard, i’m amazed anyone manages to win nightmare at all…


#6

That’s a good point. But that isn’t the only game where I’ve seen players come back from pretty serious odds.

I would hope that eventually this element of the game is dealt with via queuing orders or some other means. (right now I guess if you have the right group of local people all in the same time zone you can pause the game)

Losing a game or major battle because you have to sleep/can’t micromanage your troops every hour is probably one of the biggest flaws of blight currently IMO, as it’s an element that makes the game harder… but not in the tactical sense. More in the the “I’m a human being with a real life who has to do more important things than check this game every 4 hours” sense.

I don’t want ACTUAL PVP, and I’m totally okay with the undead being somewhat dumb and predictable… I just want them to have decent odds of winning, on nightmare especially.

Really? What’s your win/loss ratio?

I guess it hadn’t really occurred to me that I tend to find my games and fellow teammates here… which means I’m probably sourcing people who are more dedicated to the game than others.

+1 I think this would really make a huge difference in tactics and difficulty.

I guess my opinion is clearly not a popular one. Although even with all this being said, I still think the undead need some lovin.


#7

We recently did a pass on all the bosses to make them harder.

We also have a task on the todo list which is to give each zombie its own “behaviour”. Its very low priority right now, but the idea is that, rather than every zombie just moving towards the nearest settlement, each one does something different. I dont think this would make things harder, just a little more complicated.

So I think for example, orc were going to be aggressive, and rather than move to a settlement they would run at your armies. Goblins were going to flee away from you, making them hard to catch.

Things like that.


#8

I’ve won the few games I played on Hard, but we were often under heavy pressure, and it required some serious comebacks. Although that kinda proves your point that you can often win even when the undead should have an overwhelming advantage.


#9

Unique behaviors do sound interesting. The goblin one sounds like it could just be more annoying than anything else. Can you imagine being trolls/dwarves trying to hunt down the last goblin unit on a map? woof.

I’m currently about to lose my first game, and it makes me wonder if maybe some of what I’m seeing has to do with how maps are balanced as well.

I do also appreciate the difficulty boost recently given to bosses. Dread Knight now makes me crap myself (and has likely spelled doom in my current game) and the bosses with global abilities now require a lot of strategic planning.

Troll and dwarf undead playing more defensively would be cool. Maybe even beyond their abilities I still imagine minor abilities that make each of the races more unique.

Something like every 12 hours goblins get a (small) speed boost for 6 hours or trolls get an additional 10% saving throw in combat.

Nothing big, just a little something to make them stand out.

Don’t boost orc undead though… good lord are they hard to deal with.


#10

Zombie Orc stacks should spawn with a second bonus terrain at random :wink:


#11

Zombie stacks could also have a bonus against certain races. Think like how the blood shaman/ pirate captain etc boost one and subtract from another.

Zombie goblins are good against elves.

Zombie orcs are good against humans, visa versa.

Trolls and dwarves? I mean, if i was a dwarf, I wouldn’t want to be staring up at a zombie troll, and if I was a troll, I would never want to have to haul my lard butt up a mountain.