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[gameplay] Elephant balancing
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Authored by ValihrAnt on Jan 16 2020, 7:28 PM.
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Summary

This patch makes elephants more enticing by reducing their cost. Currently, elephants are too weak for what they cost, especially archer elephants, which are entirely uncompetitive at their current cost. The Kushite teambonus has also been nerfed with these changes.

Test Plan

The changes were tested on the balance mod.

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ValihrAnt created this revision.Jan 16 2020, 7:28 PM
Nescio added a subscriber: Nescio.Jan 16 2020, 7:54 PM

Given that only a minority of civs can train elephants, I'm still not convinced the kush civ bonus is appropiate.

binaries/data/mods/public/simulation/templates/template_unit_champion_elephant.xml
12–15

Champion elephants are quite powerful. Why not lower the metal cost but raise the food cost, keeping the total unchanged? E.g. 300 food + 200 metal. Metal can be scarce but food shouldn't be a problem in late game.
Also change loot below.

binaries/data/mods/public/simulation/templates/units/maur_elephant_archer_b.xml
20–23

Something went wrong here.

ValihrAnt updated this revision to Diff 11056.Jan 16 2020, 8:35 PM
This comment was removed by ValihrAnt.
ValihrAnt updated this revision to Diff 11057.Jan 16 2020, 8:38 PM

Actually fix the changes.

Given that only a minority of civs can train elephants, I'm still not convinced the kush civ bonus is appropiate.

I don't know Kushite history well enough to be able to think of an appropriate teambonus. Though, it is sort of similar to the Athenian teambonus, 1 only works on a specific map type and the other works only for a specific set of civilizations.

Champion elephants are quite powerful. Why not lower the metal cost but raise the food cost, keeping the total unchanged? E.g. 300 food + 200 metal. Metal can be scarce but food shouldn't be a problem in late game. Also change loot below.

I talked to some players in the lobby and they were down to test such changes out too, I'll update the mod to include that soon. Also the War elephant loot is the exact same as all other champion units (10F, 10W, 20M). I suppose it wouldn't be too bad to remove wood loot and increase food loot?

Though, it is sort of similar to the Athenian teambonus, 1 only works on a specific map type and the other works only for a specific set of civilizations.

Yeah, the Athenian team bonus is also not very useful.

Also the War elephant loot is the exact same as all other champion units (10F, 10W, 20M). I suppose it wouldn't be too bad to remove wood loot and increase food loot?

Unit loot ought to be 10% of cost. E.g. citizen cavalry costs 100 food + 50 wood and grants 10 food + 5 wood in loot.

Nescio added inline comments.Jan 18 2020, 1:26 PM
binaries/data/mods/public/simulation/templates/units/maur_elephant_archer_b.xml
20–23

Infantry archers cost 50 food + 50 wood and have 50 health.
Camel archers cost 100 food + 50 wood and have 100 health.
One would expect the elephant archer to cost 200 food + 50 wood (it has 200 health).

200 health is not really a lot, though: worker elephants have 300, champion elephants 750, champion cavalry spearmen 300, and citizen cavalry spearmen 160. So maybe the elephant archer deserves a significant health increase?

ValihrAnt added a comment.EditedJan 18 2020, 4:12 PM

Infantry archers cost 50 food + 50 wood and have 50 health.
Camel archers cost 100 food + 50 wood and have 100 health.
One would expect the elephant archer to cost 200 food + 50 wood (it has 200 health).
200 health is not really a lot, though: worker elephants have 300, champion elephants 750, champion cavalry spearmen 300, and citizen cavalry spearmen 160. So maybe the elephant archer deserves a significant health increase?

From testing so far I have come to the conclusion that elephant archers are still an overall weak unit. Their main problem that I didn't account for when reducing their cost is that they can't be upgraded (other than Will to fight, which is the only upgrade that affects them). So while they are decent early on they quickly fall off as other players start getting upgrades. Increasing their hp isn't a problem, but they need a more permanent solution, which is to either make them affected by ranged cavalry upgrades or have some elephant specific upgrades and I'm unsure how to proceed about that.

True, there are no Elephant-specific technologies, though e.g. archery tradition does apply to elephant archers.
Something that could be tried is introducing two technologies, the first upgrades elephant archers from basic (one archer) to advanced (two archers), the second to elite (three archers). I'm not sure it's a good idea, though. And probably beyond the scope of this patch.

True, there are no Elephant-specific technologies, though e.g. archery tradition does apply to elephant archers.

True, I forgot about it.

Something that could be tried is introducing two technologies, the first upgrades elephant archers from basic (one archer) to advanced (two archers), the second to elite (three archers). I'm not sure it's a good idea, though. And probably beyond the scope of this patch.

It is beyond the scope of this patch, but it's an idea I've thought about. Upon each promotion the elephant has another archer firing off of its back, but even though there are 2 or 3 units firing in the animation only 1 arrow gets shot, so what could also be done is to have the upgrades give them an extra projectile, kind of like the Chukonu in AoE2.
But, overall the patch makes elephant archers more useful in the early game and them falling off as upgrades start kicking in is something that can be addressed in a future patch.

ValihrAnt updated this revision to Diff 11120.Jan 20 2020, 3:34 PM

Changed war elephant cost to 300F and 200M. So their total cost is the same as in A23, but they are more accessible due to having a lower metal cost. Also adjusted their loot.

Nescio retitled this revision from Elephant balancing. to [gameplay] Elephant balancing.Mar 19 2020, 10:54 AM