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Thread: EB new EDU for multiplayer (4.0): suggestions and ideas thread

  1. #1

    Default EB new EDU for multiplayer (4.0): suggestions and ideas thread

    Hello to all the fellow EBers!


    It's been quite a long time since the old 3.4 EDU (export_descr_units.txt, the file where all the units stats are written) has been used. The large amount of time this EDU lasted witnesses the excellent work that was done by its creators in balancing some of the most difficult aspects in the game with elegance and intelligence.

    However, some mistakes here and there are degrading the overall beauty of the creation. Of course they are unintentional mistakes for the most part, but yet their presence is hindering the possibility of fully enjoying a balanced environment for EB online battles. From this idea I started planning some changes for a new release of the EDU with amendments and corrections.

    I don't want to start from scratch and completely overhaul the EDU: however I'm starting to consider some rather important changes, like a revision of the slingers or certain units availability for some factions. Therefore the desire of keeping the overall structure of the EDU intact does not rule out the possibility of reworking some mechanics.

    For this reason I'd like to hear the opinion of the community.

    What would you like to change in the current EDU? And, more importantly, why?
    Are there some suggestions that can improve the game while maintaining historicity? How would you implement them?

    Time to throw out ideas!

    EDIT: it's not necessary to be an online player to contribute. If you're a single player aficionado, I'd love to hear your opinion too.
    Last edited by mephiston; 06-16-2018 at 00:32.

  2. #2

    Default Re: EB new EDU for multiplayer (4.0): suggestions and ideas thread

    Here are some discrepancies in the game and some points I'd like to make. Granted, balancing a multiplayer game is difficult and there isn't one right way in doing it.

    Discrepancies
    1. Effective Against Cavalry Trait in only some Light Cavalry (Javelin)
    2. Javelin Skirmishers need higher Missile Attack


    1. Cantribrian Cavalry, Numidian Light Cavalry and Numidian Nobles have the Effective against cavalry trait. This makes them lethal cavalry killers. Other javelin cavalry don't have this trait though and this anti-cavalry trait make these units cost-effective cavalry killers.
    If there is any justification for this, I'd like to hear it. One that I can think of is that the Cantabrian horsemen is one of the few cavalry for the Lusitanians and this is to buff that faction due to lack of unit variety.

    2. A lot of tier 1 javelin skirmishers have a missile attack values of 6 ( e.g. Hellenic Skirmishers, Iberian Velites, Numidian Skirmishers). Archers can have a missile value of 5 or 6. I would pick a unit of archers over a unit of skirmishers for the same cost because archers have more ammo for a similar attack value. Granted, skirmishers have more men in the unit which gives a bigger volley but 6 volleys for little effect against heavily armored units isn't worth it.
    Not only that some light javelin cavalry have a base missile attack of 10 (e.g. Cantibrian Cavalry, Dacian Light Cavalry, Numdian Cavalry, etc.)! Granted, cavalry cost more so this would help offset the cost. However, with such low amount of volleys, basic foot skirmishers should have a higher missile attack to compensate for this. I would say a base of 7 or 8 would do. I'm in the opinion that some casualties should occur from javelin skirmishers throwing at heavy infantry from the front. Other due to volume, higher missile attack or both. The lack of ammo can make them useless afterwards but I guess that should be expected for ~850 Minai skirmishers.

    I'm interested in hearing any comments for the points I've given.

    Some things to look out for when balancing a unit:
    • How available is this unit to other factions.
    • The cost of this unit should determine what you get for it.
    • Why would a person pick this unit over another one?
    • Does changing this unit change the balance of the factions it is available?
    • Anyway to make Sabeans playable/competitive?
    • Since this is EB, will historical accuracy be a bigger concern than say "fun"?
    • How will balancing these units relate to the Fair Play rules being followed by the community?
    • If this unit is say... 10% above the powercurse/cost, does it have a counter?
      (One example I saw was a line of Celtic Levy Spearmen on guard mode holding against Iberian Assault Infantry. The numbers and lack of armor of the Celtic Levies made them suitable line holders against a much more expensive unit which was designed against other heavy infantry)


    Just some things to look out for. Interested in hearing more about this.

    Member thankful for this post:



  3. #3

    Default Re: EB new EDU for multiplayer (4.0): suggestions and ideas thread

    Quote Originally Posted by QuizQuiz View Post
    1. Cantribrian Cavalry, Numidian Light Cavalry and Numidian Nobles have the Effective against cavalry trait. This makes them lethal cavalry killers. Other javelin cavalry don't have this trait though and this anti-cavalry trait make these units cost-effective cavalry killers.
    If there is any justification for this, I'd like to hear it. One that I can think of is that the Cantabrian horsemen is one of the few cavalry for the Lusitanians and this is to buff that faction due to lack of unit variety.
    They do have a +1 against cavalry. However, to be fair, the Taramonnos and the Equites Caetrati have the same bonus too. They all share the fact they're excellent and trained light cavalry, capable of turning the tide in cavalry battles due to their skirmishing actions. Defining them "cavalry killers" however is not entirely true: they can do some good damage but they die horribly against most medium cavalry. The Numidian Nobles are slightly more effective due to their armour, but their secondary attack is fairly low. Cantabrians and Iberians have ap falcatae, but both morale and armour are terrible for standing in a proper cavalry fight.


    I guess this was not done to buff the Lusos, since this cavalry is available to Kart-Hadast as well. I may consider to remove the Cantabrians from the Carthaginian roster, even if their presence as mercenaries in the battle of Metaurus (207 BC) on the Carthaginian side is a point against it.



    Quote Originally Posted by QuizQuiz View Post
    2. A lot of tier 1 javelin skirmishers have a missile attack values of 6 ( e.g. Hellenic Skirmishers, Iberian Velites, Numidian Skirmishers). Archers can have a missile value of 5 or 6. I would pick a unit of archers over a unit of skirmishers for the same cost because archers have more ammo for a similar attack value. Granted, skirmishers have more men in the unit which gives a bigger volley but 6 volleys for little effect against heavily armored units isn't worth it.
    Not only that some light javelin cavalry have a base missile attack of 10 (e.g. Cantibrian Cavalry, Dacian Light Cavalry, Numdian Cavalry, etc.)! Granted, cavalry cost more so this would help offset the cost. However, with such low amount of volleys, basic foot skirmishers should have a higher missile attack to compensate for this. I would say a base of 7 or 8 would do. I'm in the opinion that some casualties should occur from javelin skirmishers throwing at heavy infantry from the front. Other due to volume, higher missile attack or both. The lack of ammo can make them useless afterwards but I guess that should be expected for ~850 Minai skirmishers.
    You stand corrected: all javelin foot skirmishers have 6 attack.

    This is true because attack is determined by the weapon in the case of javelins, and infantry skirmishers have light javelins. Heavier javelins are more powerful (8-9 attack), but less ammunitions because you can carry a smaller number of them.

    Note that while arrows are more abundant, javelins are way more accurate. If you take a look at our last 2v2 or at Aeneas' videos on youTube, you can notice respectable amounts of kills whenever a 6 attack javelin and the back of an enemy unit are involved. I wouldn't feel confident in increasing the attack of javelins, especially if I think of what a couple of Peltastai can do with them. Consider also that javelin attack is already generally higher than in SP.

    I do not agree with your statement that javelin troops should inflict some casualties to heavy infantry even when shooting from the front. Besides the fact that some men indeed drop when shooting from the front (not nearly as many as when shooting from the back, of course), the RTW engine fails in simulating one of the most important purposes of javelins, which is rendering shields useless. If a javelin gets stuck into a shield, it throws off balance the whole thing to the point that it's better to directly throw away the shield. This in turn would make the formation vulnerable to subsequent missile volleys. Unfortunately we can't simulate this fact, and we can't artificially bump the kill rate of javelins from the front either, so we're stuck with this (imperfect) solution.

    If your point gets supported, though, I can consider an increase in ammunitions, which seems fair.

    You do raise a good point about higher missile attack for skirmisher cavalry. My answer would be that due to being on horseback, those javelineers can afford to bring heavier javelins, and slightly more of them. However, the heavier are the javelins, the less ammunitions the cavalry unit gets to use. And of course there are less javelins due to lower numbers in cavalry units, so this helps balancing the whole issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuizQuiz View Post
    I'm interested in hearing any comments for the points I've given.

    Some things to look out for when balancing a unit:
    • How available is this unit to other factions.
    • The cost of this unit should determine what you get for it.
    • Why would a person pick this unit over another one?
    • Does changing this unit change the balance of the factions it is available?
    • Anyway to make Sabeans playable/competitive?
    • Since this is EB, will historical accuracy be a bigger concern than say "fun"?
    • How will balancing these units relate to the Fair Play rules being followed by the community?
    • If this unit is say... 10% above the powercurse/cost, does it have a counter?
      (One example I saw was a line of Celtic Levy Spearmen on guard mode holding against Iberian Assault Infantry. The numbers and lack of armor of the Celtic Levies made them suitable line holders against a much more expensive unit which was designed against other heavy infantry)


    Just some things to look out for. Interested in hearing more about this.
    I'm trying to follow as much as possible the balancing formulas that were used in the past. Historical accuracy plays a big role in the sense that each unit is placed in a tier system (levy, semi-professional, professional, elite) according to the historical background and statted accordingly. Its equipment is also based on history (and therefore in-game models). There are tweaks that can be done to unit costs, however, but they need to be historically justified.

    For example, one thing I want to implement is a slight boost for the Noricene Gaecori and the Kluddacorii. Both units come from the Noricum, a region famous for its high quality iron and smiths, so an increase in e.g. javelin attack makes sense. This should add flavour to both units and help them stand out from the general "Celtic spearmen/shortswordsmen". Just to give you an idea on how I want to work.





    Suggestion I got from munky: what do you guys think about lowering the number of elephants and decreasing their cost too, to make them more affordable and therefore playable?

  4. #4
    Athena's favorite Member Vlixes's Avatar
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    Default Re: EB new EDU for multiplayer (4.0): suggestions and ideas thread

    I had no time to read your essays. I just want to address the final suggestion of Mephiston. I think elephants are playable, due to my recent experience with Saka Rauka. But there is a need of more testing, specially with good anti-elephant armies.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: EB new EDU for multiplayer (4.0): suggestions and ideas thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlixes View Post
    I had no time to read your essays. I just want to address the final suggestion of Mephiston. I think elephants are playable, due to my recent experience with Saka Rauka. But there is a need of more testing, specially with good anti-elephant armies.
    Elephants are a bit of a hit-or-miss: if your enemy is well prepared you have a hard time (and something like 99% chance of losing), while if you take him by surprise they can be devastating. I find the fact that there is no difference in the number of pachyderms very strange, to say the least.


    Decreasing their numbers (and cost) is done to make them more playable, and effectively played, especially in successor fights. My biggest concern would be making them relatively affordable not only in steppe armies, where you can take cheap spearmen and foot archers alongside steppe tanks.

  6. #6

    Default Re: EB new EDU for multiplayer (4.0): suggestions and ideas thread

    Two new questions whose answers I'd like to be community-driven.


    1-Should the mercenary version of the Thureophoroi be having 82 men instead of the 92 of the regular unit?

    2-Should Cohors Imperatoria stay a smaller, more elite version of the Cohors Reformata?


    Also, I am considering an increase in infantry armour. This has the benefit of prolonging the infantry engagements because of the slower kill rate, and favouring more tactical manoeuvres, alongside making infantry more tanky against cavalry and a bit more resistant to missile. However, this has also the side effect of making cavalry charges more decisive. Which is quite rather undesired, I'd say, given how most battles are already decided by the cavalry superiority. This would be also a slight boost to ap units, something else that I'm not sure we're wanting.

    I am also thinking about giving a penalty to armour to cavalry with unarmoured horses (by now the armour value is determined only by the armour of the rider) and a bonus to defence skill (because of more agility, the need of a greater reach to harm the rider and the danger of getting close to an angry 300 kilograms war stallion).


    As before, I'd like to hear the community opinion about this!

  7. #7

    Default Re: EB new EDU for multiplayer (4.0): suggestions and ideas thread

    Quote Originally Posted by mephiston View Post
    They do have a +1 against cavalry. However, to be fair, the Taramonnos and the Equites Caetrati have the same bonus too. They all share the fact they're excellent and trained light cavalry, capable of turning the tide in cavalry battles due to their skirmishing actions. Defining them "cavalry killers" however is not entirely true: they can do some good damage but they die horribly against most medium cavalry. The Numidian Nobles are slightly more effective due to their armour, but their secondary attack is fairly low. Cantabrians and Iberians have ap falcatae, but both morale and armour are terrible for standing in a proper cavalry fight.


    I guess this was not done to buff the Lusos, since this cavalry is available to Kart-Hadast as well. I may consider to remove the Cantabrians from the Carthaginian roster, even if their presence as mercenaries in the battle of Metaurus (207 BC) on the Carthaginian side is a point against it.
    That's fair. The Lusos are still a faction with a few selection of units even with Cantribrian Cavalry removed. I don't recommend removing it from the Carthage roster just because I see no reason to.





    You stand corrected: all javelin foot skirmishers have 6 attack.

    This is true because attack is determined by the weapon in the case of javelins, and infantry skirmishers have light javelins. Heavier javelins are more powerful (8-9 attack), but less ammunitions because you can carry a smaller number of them.

    Note that while arrows are more abundant, javelins are way more accurate. If you take a look at our last 2v2 or at Aeneas' videos on youTube, you can notice respectable amounts of kills whenever a 6 attack javelin and the back of an enemy unit are involved. I wouldn't feel confident in increasing the attack of javelins, especially if I think of what a couple of Peltastai can do with them. Consider also that javelin attack is already generally higher than in SP.

    I do not agree with your statement that javelin troops should inflict some casualties to heavy infantry even when shooting from the front. Besides the fact that some men indeed drop when shooting from the front (not nearly as many as when shooting from the back, of course), the RTW engine fails in simulating one of the most important purposes of javelins, which is rendering shields useless. If a javelin gets stuck into a shield, it throws off balance the whole thing to the point that it's better to directly throw away the shield. This in turn would make the formation vulnerable to subsequent missile volleys. Unfortunately we can't simulate this fact, and we can't artificially bump the kill rate of javelins from the front either, so we're stuck with this (imperfect) solution.

    If your point gets supported, though, I can consider an increase in ammunitions, which seems fair.
    An increase in ammunition would help, or just an increase in damage. Of course firing javelins at a unit's back would cause decent casualties, but the same could be said about bringing a unit of archers or any other missile troops and fire into a units rear. A unit of archers could just fire for longer due to higher ammunition.
    If you increased the ammunition of javelins, they would cause more casualties due to volume thrown at a unit. Why not just increase the damage by one more point? This would make units more vulnerable to javelins all around compared to arrows. As you said, historically javelins would make a formation more vulnerable if the shield get stuck. Simulating more dead soldiers from the frontal volleys would be doing this.

    One thing I would like to see is making skirmishing with javelins along with archers viable. The increase in ammunition for javelin troops would help versus the damage. (Maybe javelins are actually balanced and archers just need a nerf? Just a thought).

    You do raise a good point about higher missile attack for skirmisher cavalry. My answer would be that due to being on horseback, those javelineers can afford to bring heavier javelins, and slightly more of them. However, the heavier are the javelins, the less ammunitions the cavalry unit gets to use. And of course there are less javelins due to lower numbers in cavalry units, so this helps balancing the whole issue.
    Well, one can argue that it is more light javelins they are carrying just as horse archers carry more ammunition than foot archers (which makes up for the less numerous horse archers).



    Suggestion I got from munky: what do you guys think about lowering the number of elephants and decreasing their cost too, to make them more affordable and therefore playable?
    I'm fine with trying this out. Have to decide the right number and cost which would be a task itself in deciding.

  8. #8

    Default Re: EB new EDU for multiplayer (4.0): suggestions and ideas thread

    Quote Originally Posted by mephiston View Post
    They do have a +1 against cavalry. However, to be fair, the Taramonnos and the Equites Caetrati have the same bonus too. They all share the fact they're excellent and trained light cavalry, capable of turning the tide in cavalry battles due to their skirmishing actions. Defining them "cavalry killers" however is not entirely true: they can do some good damage but they die horribly against most medium cavalry. The Numidian Nobles are slightly more effective due to their armour, but their secondary attack is fairly low. Cantabrians and Iberians have ap falcatae, but both morale and armour are terrible for standing in a proper cavalry fight.


    I guess this was not done to buff the Lusos, since this cavalry is available to Kart-Hadast as well. I may consider to remove the Cantabrians from the Carthaginian roster, even if their presence as mercenaries in the battle of Metaurus (207 BC) on the Carthaginian side is a point against it.
    That's fair. The Lusos are still a faction with a few selection of units even with Cantribrian Cavalry removed. I don't recommend removing it from the Carthage roster just because I see no reason to.





    You stand corrected: all javelin foot skirmishers have 6 attack.

    This is true because attack is determined by the weapon in the case of javelins, and infantry skirmishers have light javelins. Heavier javelins are more powerful (8-9 attack), but less ammunitions because you can carry a smaller number of them.

    Note that while arrows are more abundant, javelins are way more accurate. If you take a look at our last 2v2 or at Aeneas' videos on youTube, you can notice respectable amounts of kills whenever a 6 attack javelin and the back of an enemy unit are involved. I wouldn't feel confident in increasing the attack of javelins, especially if I think of what a couple of Peltastai can do with them. Consider also that javelin attack is already generally higher than in SP.

    I do not agree with your statement that javelin troops should inflict some casualties to heavy infantry even when shooting from the front. Besides the fact that some men indeed drop when shooting from the front (not nearly as many as when shooting from the back, of course), the RTW engine fails in simulating one of the most important purposes of javelins, which is rendering shields useless. If a javelin gets stuck into a shield, it throws off balance the whole thing to the point that it's better to directly throw away the shield. This in turn would make the formation vulnerable to subsequent missile volleys. Unfortunately we can't simulate this fact, and we can't artificially bump the kill rate of javelins from the front either, so we're stuck with this (imperfect) solution.

    If your point gets supported, though, I can consider an increase in ammunitions, which seems fair.
    An increase in ammunition would help, or just an increase in damage. Of course firing javelins at a unit's back would cause decent casualties, but the same could be said about bringing a unit of archers or any other missile troops and fire into a units rear. A unit of archers could just fire for longer due to higher ammunition.
    If you increased the ammunition of javelins, they would cause more casualties due to volume thrown at a unit. Why not just increase the damage by one more point? This would make units more vulnerable to javelins all around compared to arrows. As you said, historically javelins would make a formation more vulnerable if the shield get stuck. Simulating more dead soldiers from the frontal volleys would be doing this.

    One thing I would like to see is making skirmishing with javelins along with archers viable. The increase in ammunition for javelin troops would help versus the damage. (Maybe javelins are actually balanced and archers just need a nerf? Just a thought).

    You do raise a good point about higher missile attack for skirmisher cavalry. My answer would be that due to being on horseback, those javelineers can afford to bring heavier javelins, and slightly more of them. However, the heavier are the javelins, the less ammunitions the cavalry unit gets to use. And of course there are less javelins due to lower numbers in cavalry units, so this helps balancing the whole issue.
    Well, one can argue that it is more light javelins they are carrying just as horse archers carry more ammunition than foot archers (which makes up for the less numerous horse archers).



    Suggestion I got from munky: what do you guys think about lowering the number of elephants and decreasing their cost too, to make them more affordable and therefore playable?
    I'm fine with trying this out. Have to decide the right number and cost which would be a task itself in deciding.

  9. #9

    Default Re: EB new EDU for multiplayer (4.0): suggestions and ideas thread

    Quote Originally Posted by QuizQuiz View Post
    That's fair. The Lusos are still a faction with a few selection of units even with Cantribrian Cavalry removed. I don't recommend removing it from the Carthage roster just because I see no reason to.

    Yeah, I agree. To be honest the Lusos are just very difficult to play with, with or without Cantabrians.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuizQuiz View Post
    An increase in ammunition would help, or just an increase in damage. Of course firing javelins at a unit's back would cause decent casualties, but the same could be said about bringing a unit of archers or any other missile troops and fire into a units rear. A unit of archers could just fire for longer due to higher ammunition.
    If you increased the ammunition of javelins, they would cause more casualties due to volume thrown at a unit. Why not just increase the damage by one more point? This would make units more vulnerable to javelins all around compared to arrows. As you said, historically javelins would make a formation more vulnerable if the shield get stuck. Simulating more dead soldiers from the frontal volleys would be doing this.
    "Decent" casualties is a big understatement. If I increase javelin damage, I fear we would see a sudden increase in the use of javelin units, especially the spear-armed ones who can withstand a cavalry charge. I think they're fine as they are, as far as damage is concerned. I hope I can show some javelin action with the broadcasting of some battles (spoiler on my next activity ).

    Consider also that javelins are not considered missile weapons by the game engine. Look at the difference:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Toxotai:
    Code:
    stat_pri         5, 0, arrow_m, 170, 24, missile, archery, piercing, none, 15 ,1
    stat_pri_attr    no

    Akontistai:
    Code:
    stat_pri         6, 2, javelin_m, 57.8, 6, thrown, simple, piercing, spear, 10 ,1
    stat_pri_attr    thrown


    Javelins are not missile. They are spears and they are thrown. This is what they are considered in-game: a thrown spear. Units don't get the doubled shield bonus against javelins, so an increase in their attack has a much bigger impact than it would seem at first glance.

    Also, I've rarely seen any archer unit in the back of any army. Easy explanation: any cavalry or reserve infantry would chop those archers to pieces. Usually javelin infantry is way better in melee than archers, so they can run around the enemy line, throw javelins at the backs and then engage.

    If you're able to bring some archers with some arrows still in their quivers (already not very common) in the back of the enemy army and start consistently pouring arrows into his line, then it's likely that you already had an edge in the first place, because the other player can't get rid of a unit which is ridiculously easy to get rid of.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuizQuiz View Post
    One thing I would like to see is making skirmishing with javelins along with archers viable. The increase in ammunition for javelin troops would help versus the damage. (Maybe javelins are actually balanced and archers just need a nerf? Just a thought).
    I'm not sure what you're suggesting here. Would you like to see more archer-skirmisher combination? Or just more skirmishers being picked over archers? More javelins can certainly help, I may start seriously considering it. And maybe archers do indeed need a nerf.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuizQuiz View Post
    I'm fine with trying this out. Have to decide the right number and cost which would be a task itself in deciding.
    Of course it will. I think that reducing the numbers to 8-10 pachyderms for the basic tier and 6 for the advanced can add a bit of variety. Do I prefer more elephants, or stronger ones? Those were the kind of concerns springing up in Diadochoi wars.

    I'd also like to increase their hitpoints, to make up for the loss of manpower (elephant-power?) in the unit. Right now they're quite easy to counter and kill. Also, something that came right now to my mind: if I increase javelin damage, I decrease even more the feasibility of elephants.





    Another important change that I'm taking into consideration is inspired by Brave Sir Robin. Once he proposed that some archer-spearmen units (Nizagan i-Eranshar, for example but also the Sab'yn version and some others) could become more of a light infantry with a bow rather than archers with a spear, like they are right now. This in practice means a big cut in the ammunitions, but an increase in morale and fighting capabilities (and in cost as well).


    Thanks for the answers so far, guys. I would love to hear more from you about the questions I raised in this and the previous posts.

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