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Monsters are too easy

By on September 22, 2012 6:38:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

UmbralAngel

Join Date 06/2010
+15

In Master of Magic, fighting monster lairs was very challenging and dangerous. There were flying units with ranged attacks (sprites) that could destroy a weak army very easily. Zombies and Ghouls, the basic death units could also punch a whole in your forces in the early game. If you were lucky you could fight a single guardian spirit or war bears.

In that game, you get 1 EXP / turn, and 2 EXP/battle, with a limit of 1 battle per turn for each army. This meant that it takes many turns for your heroes to level up, and they start very weak. So this forces you to build up an army of trained units to escort your heroes to kill the difficult monster lairs. Sometimes you would have to wait 50 or 100 turns to kill some monster lairs because you needed strong ranged attacks or powerful melee tanks.  Some monster lairs are almost impossible to defeat even in the end game with the best possible army. 

Right now, my starting sovereign partnered with a champion can kill about half the monsters on the map even at level 1. Once you get some armor, a shield, a good weapon, you can take out about 75% of the enemies. Then you just get a few tough armies that require better gear and higher level champions, but eventually you can kill those too without any trained units. The problem is that you don't need trained units to kill monsters, and that killing monsters gives you items for your heroes that makes them stronger, creating a feedback loop.

Fallen Enchantress is a 4x game primarily, not an RPG with 4x game elements. The RPG elements are interfering with the strategy aspect of the game and turning it into a grind. You can ignore the RPG elements and play a pure strategy game, but you are being sub-optimal when doing so. The only way to really fix this is to make champions less important. You could increase their wages to match their level which would make them less cost-effective compared to trained units, but that is a mediocre solution. I really think that there should be monster hubs which are very dangerous and spawn monsters that will directly target your cities and outposts.  

This would change monsters from being a fly swatting type of activity to a real strategic part of the game. You have to avoid monster hubs until you are ready to face them. You can't build cities near them so there is real pressure to clear them out. Clearing them out requires you to acquire military technology and produce lots of units to aid your champions. So this would create a whole new interaction between trained units, cities, and champions that feels much more fun to me.

I still play Master of Magic and have fun doing so. The main reason is that it is fun to build a stack of units to support your hero and go and clear monster lairs. Sure capturing cities, building my own cities in nice locations is also fun, but not enough to keep me around. If you want people to play Fallen Enchantress 10 years from now, I really don't think you have addicting gameplay to warrant that. The problem is squarely with the conflict of RPG and strategy mechanics and you need to find a way to make them synergize. There are other issues that make the game less fun for me, but I think this is one thing thats easy to explain and fix.

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September 22, 2012 6:53:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree with UmbralAngel that the above is the biggest problem Fallen Enchantress has.  Many other players I very much respect have spoken about this.  I'd list them, but then I would forget someone, and I'll feel bad about the unintended slight.

As a matter of fact, I do not believe that there are that many who disagree.  Most people are just not sure about how to fix it.

There are a few proposed solutions floating around.  If I were a better person, I would include links and name the authors... I won't.

1. Severely decrease experience gain for heroes at higher levels.  Or even introduce a level cap.

2. Seriously increase trained troops and monsters' stat gain at level up, and give mobs better ways to level up.

3. Have hero weapons and troops weapons, and make the latter much better than the former.

4. Make trained troops and some mobs stronger against heroes.

5. Introduce server penalties for heroes fighting outside friendly dominions and especially in hostile dominions.

6. Introduce penalties for being outnumbered.

7. Play with home rules that leave heroes out of combat.

I personally dislike 1 and 3, am cautious about 4, and would like to see a mix of 2, 5, and 6.

For now I just do 7, but don't get me wrong, I would welcome any of the above solutions, even the one I dislike.

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September 23, 2012 7:30:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the main problems is:

Big stacks of units, meet defense:
Trained units seem to have a severe hard time penetrating armor with any weapon, this unbalances armor piercing weapons too, but also makes armor extremely efficient against large groups... - Trained units.

Magical Loot:
The magical items you find are way better than the items you can build at the same level in the tech tree, so much that heroes gain a huge advantage due to massively powerful items drop.
I would recommend lowering the power-level of magical items, and make the scaling of items in the research tree have a "higher floor" but "same level ceiling", (start items is better compared to endgame items than what is now).

HP value compared to defense:
I also think there are some issues with starting hp of anything is too low, and survival of most any unit depends on armour - a fairly expensive gesture, but easy for heroes to acquire through quests.

That said, some monsters could use a face-lift, and I might be totally wrong, but every gamer have to think the world would be better if they designed it

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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September 23, 2012 11:36:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree, make heroes really bad so they need lots of troops to take on monsters.

Everything about heroes is overpowered right now; armor, weapons, spells, access to items, stats, abilities.... its just sad.

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September 24, 2012 2:48:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tuidjy,
I agree with UmbralAngel that the above is the biggest problem Fallen Enchantress has.  Many other players I very much respect have spoken about this.  I'd list them, but then I would forget someone, and I'll feel bad about the unintended slight.

As a matter of fact, I do not believe that there are that many who disagree.  Most people are just not sure about how to fix it.

There are a few proposed solutions floating around.  If I were a better person, I would include links and name the authors... I won't.

1. Severely decrease experience gain for heroes at higher levels.  Or even introduce a level cap.

2. Seriously increase trained troops and monsters' stat gain at level up, and give mobs better ways to level up.

3. Have hero weapons and troops weapons, and make the latter much better than the former.

4. Make trained troops and some mobs stronger against heroes.

5. Introduce server penalties for heroes fighting outside friendly dominions and especially in hostile dominions.

6. Introduce penalties for being outnumbered.

7. Play with home rules that leave heroes out of combat.

I personally dislike 1 and 3, am cautious about 4, and would like to see a mix of 2, 5, and 6.

For now I just do 7, but don't get me wrong, I would welcome any of the above solutions, even the one I dislike.

 

Tuidjy I also disagree with hero nerfing or level caps, and would much rather increase the toughness of monsters.

My ideal solution would be a "flanking/swarming" penalty for being outnumbered (your point 6) so that heroes need armies to fight monster groups and defending AI armies but can still try to single-handedly take large single monsters (think dragonslayers)...

 

 

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September 24, 2012 4:09:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think monsters should get buffs on many levels. Something like this:

 

-Give the low level monsters some extra attack and initiative to make them a bit more dangerous and to make soloing a bit harder

-Give the mid level units a bit of everything. +initiative, +hp and +attack/def. Not a lot, but make em a bit stronger. Give them followers as well. Give the trolls a few mite hangarounds and the same for other mid range monsters.

-Make the units actually use the deadly bites, sweep and such. I have a suspicion that a lot of the danger potential of the monsters is unused. 

-GIVE US A SLIDER TO ADJUST MONSTER AGGRESIVENESS FROM DOCILE TO NASTY. I just had to shout there. Sorry. I REALLY want to play FE in such a state that every outpost and city must be defended and the nearby area cleared.

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September 24, 2012 4:26:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting joasoze,
-GIVE US A SLIDER TO ADJUST MONSTER AGGRESIVENESS FROM DOCILE TO NASTY. I just had to shout there. Sorry. I REALLY want to play FE in such a state that every outpost and city must be defended and the nearby area cleared.

I second this! I play with Insane monsters, it's better then normal monsters but still not great. At least the monsters scare me (Ophidians and trolls mainly). But there just ***king off in the bushes... There not coming after me, the just sit there.. So no need to get really excited about seeing them. I would just really like that slider. So please Derek, order the minions to make one.

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September 24, 2012 5:38:22 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


There are no high-level monsters - a custom sovereign is simply invulnerable at high levels.

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September 24, 2012 6:23:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

We need some monsters that will have group bonuses (a pack bonus that is reduced as units are killed). Then a single hero will fight a lot of strong monsters for many rounds, while an army will reduce the bonus by killing more units pr round. This will not remove the solo problem, but every little thing helps.

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September 24, 2012 7:58:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I made a post about exactly the same issue the OP is saying and I still fullly agree.  No game has really recaptured the "essence" of Master of Magic and I am honestly beginning to be doubtful that this game ever will.  Maybe a MOD could fix it, but it is always better to have a quality vanilla in the first place.

There are many different solutions the devs could take to fix the fundamental problem of overpowered heroes.  MoM did it in a number of ways and I strongly believe in the old adage "don't fix what ain't broke".

 

MoM's hero vs troop mechanics were as follows:

1. VERY slow hero level up.  Heroes sucked ass early to mid game (except for Torin who should have been nerfed).

2. STRONG level distinction between low level troops and high level troops.  A level 2 troop beat the heck out of a level 1 troop, etc.  

There were what...only 5-6 levels for reg troops?  And if you had a 6th level regular troop (a champion), it was just as badass as a strong hero.  Also, the "warlord" trait for your "sovereign" would increase the level of all your troops by one, which meant a "warlord" really PLAYED like a warlord--massive incentive to get regular troops over other strategies.  Without Warlord (and altar of battle which did the same thing), you could not reach this 6th experience tier for regular troops.  In other words, you were excited about getting certain strong regular troops.  The troops in FE are just plain boring.

FE troops get what...spell resistance? A bit of HP? A bit of spell mastery? (how is this useful for a spearman?!?!) upon leveling, which all in all means....not very much.  MoM troops got more attack, more defence, which really started to show huge gains especially in large groups (anyone remember those 8-person group halfling slingers?  1 Extra attack meant 8 more damage!!!).

3. MANY different viable strategies.  You can go magic heavy, troop heavy, turtling, expanding, pure summoner, pure warlord, etc.  And you could beat impossible difficulty with all of them (though granted the AI was not the best in this game).  

Also, the best point about MoM is that with good strategy a "weak" stack could beat a "strong" stack (to use FE terminology), but you would really have to think strategically about how to do this.  MoM had very powerful support spells that meant you had to have a strong army to be effective overall, except for certain spells that were extremely powerful but that you could only get if you had a lot of picks in a particular branch of magic (at a sacrifice to other areas).

 

People have posted many different solutions to the problem but I think fundamentally the 3 points above MUST be addressed in some way whatever solution is picked.  Please put some FUN into FE.

 

 

 

 

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