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Monster Aggressiveness

By on May 2, 2012 4:37:51 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

tancred1425

Join Date 11/2007
+1

I think I missed something in the posts about Beta 3. I gather from other posts that monsters are supposed to be more aggressive in this version.

Here's my experience:

Have started over a dozen games, on both Easy and Normal difficulty levels. Moderate monster frequency (the default).

EVERY SINGLE GAME I have started since downloading Beta 3, there are monsters within 3 squares of my starting city.
Every single game I encounter a monster within 10 squares of the city that follows me, is stronger than my sovereign + the starting hero I can hire + plus the only unit I can build at this point (militia).
Which means that, usually within 20 turns of starting, my sovereign and hero get killed and sent back to my starting city. If I have bothered to build a militia unit, now it's been killed which means I just wasted 8+ turns of production in my only city.

Don't even think about trying to send out Pioneers. With or without militia, they are chased and killed before getting 10 squares away from the starting city.

I know that I am not particularly skilled at this game; never was that good at E:Wom, either.

But this seems a bit much.

Unless I am just missing something that allows you to take on these monsters, the game is unplayable for me as is.

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May 2, 2012 4:52:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What monster frequency are you playing? What difficulty? There are some more advanced ways of dealing with large monsters. I suggest getting the early warfare techs and building enough spearmen to handle larger beasts. You may be better off playing on a faster tech pace too. It helps against monsters.

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May 2, 2012 5:25:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I find the Sov very important early game.

I play as the standard Gilden, Yithril and Altair Sov's. So this is for warriors.

Find and kill rock spiders, black widows, darklings, wildlings, bandits, wolves, bear cubs, butchermen, banished ogres ect. Kill weak monsters and grab loot. You arefaster than monsters so with  little planning just outrun them and grab loot. In 75% of games I can get a lv3-5 hero with a better weapon and a few pieces of leather armor. Stoneskin is also great against some monsters. This should allow your Sov and backup (Spearmen or champion)to kill stalkers, young ogres, small shrill groups and cave bears pretty quickly.

A lot is just getting a good starting position though as umberdoths, wastelands and mountain ranges can just make a game almost impossible.

 

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May 3, 2012 5:07:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think what the original post is trying to say is, starting out is rather hard for newer players no matter the difficulty, because you will run into some rather difficult monsters.
It becomes especially hard without building a custom sovereign, since the premade ones are rather poor in skill...
Also researching warfare technology to beat a creature within the first 8 tiles, you cannot research anything but spears that have any effect, and thats a kind of rubbish start IMO if you NEED to build spearmen first off, as I can read we are talking about the first 10 turns of the game..

I really like the "Weak" "Moderate" "Strong" subtypes in the game, the game should support this more to help newer players know danger when it stares at them, also it should have more types, especially for weaker monsters to actually have an effect the first 50 turns of the game

To the original post, You need any pointers as to what could help you get a good start?

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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May 3, 2012 6:30:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the solution is to make the strong monsters more sedentary. They should stick to their lairs until X amount of turns have passed (based on difficulty) or until all of the weaker monsters within X tiles have been killed.

 

Also if there's not some already... monster hunter traits (dragon slayer, elemental slayer, etc) might be a nice addition.

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May 3, 2012 6:35:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would like a bit stronger starting monsters. The bandits, mites and darklings should be slightly stronger. Now its just boring to kill em.

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May 3, 2012 6:49:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kongdej,
I think what the original post is trying to say is, starting out is rather hard for newer players no matter the difficulty, because you will run into some rather difficult monsters.

Not just new players having trouble - in my most recent game (on challenging) the two factions nearest me (Kraxis and Tarth) were wiped out by monsters very early (around the time of building their second city). Admittedly the monsters had some help from me since I captured an otherwise safe Kraxis city that was preventing my own advancement, but still...

...and it was a particular shame as Karavox was being intelligent and actually taking items from monster lairs, usually an AI flaw.

In a previous game, I started next to (as in minimum city distance) another faction, captured his city with what forces I could muster, and in the next turn watched helplessly as the conquering heroes were killed (and the city razed) by rampaging bears. Maybe bears don't approve of zerg rushing, but I suspect that my rival would have had to contend with inglorious ursine defeat even if I had left him to his own devices.

And yeah, as a new player myself I have abandoned a few games due to early monstering, though it's sometimes surmountable with a bit of resort to save-and-reload.

Quoting UmbralAngel,
Also if there's not some already... monster hunter traits (dragon slayer, elemental slayer, etc) might be a nice addition.

The hunter's shortbow starting weapon is quite useful for dispatching beasts, but yeah, other options would be neat.

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May 3, 2012 9:02:22 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting joasoze,
I would like a bit stronger starting monsters. The bandits, mites and darklings should be slightly stronger. Now its just boring to kill em.

While I agree there should be more difficult monsters, the STARTING AREA should be a walk in the park, so you cannot lose just to too strong monsters in the starting area, and so to give more room for sovereigns that are less powerful on turn 1-10.

I do still think the MAP EDITOR should have a BIG redo, to make each map much more like a "Scenario", and less random.
I still hope for larger maps, so there are more room for proper map design.
One could put in rules to make the starting area simple, for newer players, and add a layer of medium difficulty around that, after the medium difficulty layer, it should be a random of medium to hard difficulty layers until you meet other players...

It is not because I need a walk in the park, thats just how games are usually set up, and while breaking the "usual" on some points, it is bad habit to make a game way to hard for newcomers, there could be options before map generation to generate hard starting locations.

But that is getting abit offtopic.

PS. Mites needs a slight buff, they're silly, and Pioneers can almost kill them!!!... well ok not pioneers they cant attack, but you get the idea.

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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May 3, 2012 9:53:06 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Monsters should have AI that reflect what they are.  Are all monsters ruthless, psychopath, fearless civilization killing machines?  Or do bears simply want you away from their dens? I think most monsters should stay near their dens, and only attack and chase those who get close and then  once they've either chased you away or killed you, they should return to their den.  There should be roaming monsters who are intelligent to know that attacking a large army is bad, but attacking a pioneer is safe.  And some monsters should be civilization destroying psychopaths.  But to have things like bears and wolves be out to kill people all the time is pretty silly.  Humans are that way towards bears and wolves, not the other way around.  And to be honest, from what I've seen of the game it does a fairly good job of this already.  

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May 3, 2012 9:58:42 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I play with Dense monster (or what ever the max is) and I love the fact that I'm surroned my monsters however I wish they had an aggressive setting option. Because they are still not aggressive enough for my tasted. I still steam Roll them. With my Sov and one hero or unit

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May 3, 2012 10:01:51 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kongdej,
I think what the original post is trying to say is, starting out is rather hard for newer players no matter the difficulty, because you will run into some rather difficult monsters.

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

 

This mirrors my thoughts exactly.  While I believe the recent increase in monster aggressiveness was very much needed, I think the easy setting AI should be toned down a notch, or perhaps not place powerful monsters so close to any starting positions (make them at least 6-8 tiles away).

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May 3, 2012 10:09:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

monsters are attacking our cities a little too much... they need to tone that down just a tiny bit

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May 3, 2012 10:21:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree that monsters destroying cities early is a problem, but I disagree on the solution.  Make cities easier to defend.  If I have 40 people in my starting city and a pack of wolves attacks, I had better be seeing 40 (well, 30, maybe 10 are kids) people out there trying to fend off those wolves.  And my militia shouldn't just have clubs if I've researched spears. 

Plus, I'm an awesomely powerful channeler - maybe there's a level 1 earth spell to make a hedge wall around my town, a level 1 water spell to add a moat, or a life spell to make monsters under a certain level stay out of my land, something before the level 3/4 fire spell (that totally rocks I might add). 

Making cities easier to defend will have the added bonus of making the AI's cities easier to defend, making our job steamrolling through them a lot harder, making the game more fun.

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May 4, 2012 8:52:43 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Kongdej, I would love any tips anyone can give me.

To reiterate my original post:

Difficulty: Easy or Normal.

Monster frequency: Moderate (default).

I WANT to be able to fight monsters, to build up my custom sovereign and give experience to any units that can accompany the sovereign.

What I find unplayable is monsters that are FAR stronger than I am within 5 to 10 squares of my starting position.
Not just one game, but the last dozen times I've restarted.
AND they follow me until they catch me, at which point my sovereign is out of play for the next 10 turns or so.

If I research nothing but combat techs from the start it takes me around 30 to 40 turns to research Leatherworking.
Then it takes another roughly 20 turns to research Weaponry.
(Or vice versa if I do it in reverse order.)
Those are the absolute minimum techs to produce anything approaching survivable troops.

Either way, it's about 30 turns too late to help me with the starting monsters.
And it means that I'm 50+ turns into the game before I dare send out even one Pioneer.

I do need to try the accelerated tech pace; it seems likely to be the only thing to make a difference.

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May 4, 2012 9:28:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What monsters are you having problems with exactly? Darkling, Shrills, Drakes, or something else?

Assassin Demons and Umberdroths are the only wandering monsters that I have problems with. In fact I find that I can pretty much solo most monster lairs with my champion easily on hard. Except for the above all wandering monsters are kinda jokes, and once you have leather and weaponry you can pretty much kill any monster lair except for the strongest.

I would like for monster lairs to attack players that move right next to them to limit players movement. They don't even have to move, just attack. I would also like to see more early game wandering monsters spawn. The game I played in .913 there were basically no weak wandering monster for the first 100 turns.

 

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May 4, 2012 10:32:40 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Tancred:

Are you running custom sovereigns? cause they can help alot on early game stuff (and never ever ever pick a bow for a custom sovereign, they are useless)

Research the warfare research for spears quickly, they are the first decent piece of weapon that does not cost metal, and gives moderate damage.

Build a spear militia and keep that in your base city, as for defense, also get a spear militia to tag team with your main hero.

The level 1 Life spell "Regenration" works Extremely well with fast weapons and the air spell "Haste", try comboing water and air magic for haste + slow.

Cast inspiration on your first city on turn 1, doubles your research points.

Never run a sovereign without +2 mana per turn Enchanting stuff is key to an easy game.

Hope these pointers help, can give you a vid about how I start out HARD games...
Although I do still make mistakes, and depending on mood sometimes I do war with everything and rampage through the country, losing troops left and right

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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May 4, 2012 10:34:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

PS as of 0.913, it is WORTH building a couple of  troops early, when you find your first hero, notice if you can afford him, if you can set your tax to NONE until you build your first unit with upkeep or you are about to run out of funds, then set it to NORMAL.

All these pointers are here for you to "Try out", when you have tried them once, play like what you are most comfortable with!

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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May 4, 2012 8:36:13 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
Monsters should have AI that reflect what they are.  Are all monsters ruthless, psychopath, fearless civilization killing machines?  Or do bears simply want you away from their dens? I think most monsters should stay near their dens, and only attack and chase those who get close and then  once they've either chased you away or killed you, they should return to their den.  There should be roaming monsters who are intelligent to know that attacking a large army is bad, but attacking a pioneer is safe.  And some monsters should be civilization destroying psychopaths.  

I totally agree.

This idea could be extended to some monsters/minor fractions defending special areas or improvements, so that you can use them/settle there/build outposts there/pass their territory only if you killed the monsters surrounding/guarding/owning that area or if you did them a favor/payed them, or acting along with their interests or convinced them any way.

 

I also think that wildlings/darklings/mites need sth more special, I mean they really can nothing besides being killed...

I know that I can kill bandidts and wolfes, but I have to play passably well to do this, when fighting darklings or wildlings (without shamans) you can turn your brain off. This is not the sense of a game.

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