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Magic or Why the underlying mechanics force magic into bad position

CalorCalor Posts: 15Registered Users
edited December 2016 in General Discussion
This is a post i did on reddit and wanted to drop here and see what you guys think.

Magic in total war looks great it has nice effects (if you ignore the obnoxious buff glows) looks impactful and visceral.

Sadly looks and reality are far apart: buffs and summons shine, while direct damage spells nearly always under perform for their cost.

This has it 's roots in the underlying casting mechanics in TWW and therefore will never change. What do i mean with that?:

The current system is extremely inflexible it's a choose spell-> choose target -> channel -> cast interaction that NEVER changes in any Lore or any spell

Inherently this brings with it a couple of problems:

There is no active counter play for spells except: Don't be where the spell is

Therefore direct impact spells will ALWAYS under perform or be OP because there is no way to really balance them without counterplay (a good example for you LoL players out there would be the old silenceE-Talon)

Now i advocate for a rework of some of the underlying mechanics to make counterplay available, which in turn allows to make magic more impactful AND more diverse

Spells are either instant (which is the same as the current system)

or channeled, which requires the wizard to actively cast as long as the spell is in play and if interrupted the spell fizzes out or, if deemed fun and balanced he looses control over it (for example vortexes adapt their "natural" behavior )

This solves a lot of problems the current magic system has:

It allows for stronger DD spells without making them OP

It allows for counter play in form of instant spells, cav/flier charges

It allows for more interesting interactions with the wizard passive.

Balancing with these possibilities is WAY easier than the current system, which forces a nerf circle onto magic.

So what do you think is there room for a rework of magic with the first expansion, featuring THE classic mage using races in all of WH: Elves and Lizards?

Do you have other ideas the magic system could be changed so it makes for a more diverse game?

edit: TLDR: Magics currently underlying mechanisms make balancing and diversity mutually exclusive
Post edited by Calor on
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Comments

  • SeldkamSeldkam Senior Member Posts: 4,336Registered Users
    Really don't agree... well yes I agree most damage spells are bad but that has been acknowledged by Duck earlier today or yesterday.

    I don't agree however that it will always be weak.

    Right now, spirit leech will actually do well Vs heroes I bet if you realize that they can't take potions anymore. That's a big deal.

    Fate of bjuna got buffed a tad as well, not to mention direct damage and some magic missiles aren't in a terrible spot.
    The inferior races of this world will be crushed one by one, as our armies move from shore to shore, and hill to hill, and city to city-- and each of their cries will be as music to our ears, for we are the Druchii.
  • CalorCalor Posts: 15Registered Users
    I am not saying they will always be weak,
    what i am saying is they will always be too weak OR too strong because it is simplified to a point where it takes away possible balance points
    allowing strong spells to have a counter play and therefore make them a possibility in game to make Lores more diverse and not just a close copy of each other and just change some minor stats.
  • StylianStylian Posts: 83Registered Users
    Magic should be really powerful and the wizards should be complete glass canons to counter it, but instead the damage spells are useless unless modded and a wizard can go toe to toe with a unit of swordsman for quite a while.
    "Anything's a **** if you're brave enough" - Abraham Lincoln
  • SeldkamSeldkam Senior Member Posts: 4,336Registered Users
    That's what I disagree with, it can be balanced ...

    I think it's pretty clear with the examples I gave, they're not useless at all.
    The inferior races of this world will be crushed one by one, as our armies move from shore to shore, and hill to hill, and city to city-- and each of their cries will be as music to our ears, for we are the Druchii.
  • CalorCalor Posts: 15Registered Users
    Ideally you would want EVERY spell to be something you want to take and i think with the current system and lack of possible variables it s hard to differentiate spells enough AND make them useful, while still maintaining unique Lores.
    Guess we agree to disagree
  • SeldkamSeldkam Senior Member Posts: 4,336Registered Users
    edited December 2016
    Uhh, well the problem is it takes a very long time to make so many unique spells work especially in a video game. Teleporting also wouldn't work very well for that matter.

    I think it is definitely possible tho, the lores themselves make it easy.
    The inferior races of this world will be crushed one by one, as our armies move from shore to shore, and hill to hill, and city to city-- and each of their cries will be as music to our ears, for we are the Druchii.
  • endurendur Posts: 3,242Registered Users
    I agree that counters should be improved.

    Right now, counters seem to be magic resistance. i.e. dwarfs have innate magic resistance, etc. Or reducing the winds of magic that enemies can draw upon.

    I'm wondering how high magic will counter other casters.
  • OrontesOrontes Junior Member Posts: 452Registered Users
    I think at a base level magic should be scary. Damage spells typcially are not. Magic should have a coherent risk reward. Too many of the 'higher' level spells cannot justify their use given the cost. Vortex magic never seems to be a factor as these types of spells wander into irrelevant space. They should be changed so the vortexes stay within a small area that forces the other side to try to go around or suffer the pain. This would require greater damage, not simply group disruption. I basically agree with this youtube commentary:

  • KhorneFlakesKhorneFlakes Posts: 3,373Registered Users
    edited December 2016
    really its just point and click hex buff thats it right now in the game..oly magic used in multi....no strategy depth absolutely nothing,also @Stylian said

    Balance Is A Lie

  • KhorneFlakesKhorneFlakes Posts: 3,373Registered Users
    there should be a depth to hex buffs like say you want buff your goblin army by insane +30 something melee attack but it will take away also -20 leadership something,so theres a decision making process golbins have low leadership do i risk it or not in the current battle situation because a timed cav attack and terror not only will negate the buff but put you at disadvantage but if done right +34 melee attack like it is right now will make a huge difference in fight

    Balance Is A Lie

  • CalorCalor Posts: 15Registered Users

    there should be a depth to hex buffs like say you want buff your goblin army by insane +30 something melee attack but it will take away also -20 leadership something,so theres a decision making process golbins have low leadership do i risk it or not in the current battle situation because a timed cav attack and terror not only will negate the buff but put you at disadvantage but if done right +34 melee attack like it is right now will make a huge difference in fight

    I disagree we don't need to nerf buffs (well at least not ALL of them) but buff other spells so you have to decide where to put your resources instead of just taking the 1 or 2 good spells buffs/debuffs .
  • SeldkamSeldkam Senior Member Posts: 4,336Registered Users
    Yea at this stage there are mostly only bad spells or decent spells

    Again, Duck CA has stated they are going to try and pass over the damage spells so considering their track wizard it will get better.
    The inferior races of this world will be crushed one by one, as our armies move from shore to shore, and hill to hill, and city to city-- and each of their cries will be as music to our ears, for we are the Druchii.
  • KhorneFlakesKhorneFlakes Posts: 3,373Registered Users
    Seldkam said:

    Yea at this stage there are mostly only bad spells or decent spells

    Again, Duck CA has stated they are going to try and pass over the damage spells so considering their track wizard it will get better.

    they been saying it forever if we just look over the sugarcoating and at actual changes magic is getting worse and worse each patch for mutliplayer,singleplayer doesnt matter as long as it is pretty

    Balance Is A Lie

  • KhorneFlakesKhorneFlakes Posts: 3,373Registered Users
    Calor said:

    there should be a depth to hex buffs like say you want buff your goblin army by insane +30 something melee attack but it will take away also -20 leadership something,so theres a decision making process golbins have low leadership do i risk it or not in the current battle situation because a timed cav attack and terror not only will negate the buff but put you at disadvantage but if done right +34 melee attack like it is right now will make a huge difference in fight

    I disagree we don't need to nerf buffs (well at least not ALL of them) but buff other spells so you have to decide where to put your resources instead of just taking the 1 or 2 good spells buffs/debuffs .
    no,i am not talking about buffs/debuffs balance,i am stating to add strategic layer to magic which above example does...so its not just point and click like it is right now

    Balance Is A Lie

  • CalorCalor Posts: 15Registered Users

    Calor said:

    there should be a depth to hex buffs like say you want buff your goblin army by insane +30 something melee attack but it will take away also -20 leadership something,so theres a decision making process golbins have low leadership do i risk it or not in the current battle situation because a timed cav attack and terror not only will negate the buff but put you at disadvantage but if done right +34 melee attack like it is right now will make a huge difference in fight

    I disagree we don't need to nerf buffs (well at least not ALL of them) but buff other spells so you have to decide where to put your resources instead of just taking the 1 or 2 good spells buffs/debuffs .
    no,i am not talking about buffs/debuffs balance,i am stating to add strategic layer to magic which above example does...so its not just point and click like it is right now
    Mhh ok I think i get what you mean. Have (some) buffs a negative counter component.
    That is fine as long as you keep in mind that every spell is a resource invested - Winds of Magic. Like Ammunition for Artillery or Ranged. And therefe I personally think it's ok to just have a buff component without a debuff, exept in the REALLY powerful variants.
  • KhorneFlakesKhorneFlakes Posts: 3,373Registered Users
    Calor said:

    Calor said:

    there should be a depth to hex buffs like say you want buff your goblin army by insane +30 something melee attack but it will take away also -20 leadership something,so theres a decision making process golbins have low leadership do i risk it or not in the current battle situation because a timed cav attack and terror not only will negate the buff but put you at disadvantage but if done right +34 melee attack like it is right now will make a huge difference in fight

    I disagree we don't need to nerf buffs (well at least not ALL of them) but buff other spells so you have to decide where to put your resources instead of just taking the 1 or 2 good spells buffs/debuffs .
    no,i am not talking about buffs/debuffs balance,i am stating to add strategic layer to magic which above example does...so its not just point and click like it is right now
    Mhh ok I think i get what you mean. Have (some) buffs a negative counter component.
    That is fine as long as you keep in mind that every spell is a resource invested - Winds of Magic. Like Ammunition for Artillery or Ranged. And therefe I personally think it's ok to just have a buff component without a debuff, exept in the REALLY powerful variants.
    yes thats what i meant,also well you can make the benefit more powerful,and the counter less risky,so players will bring casters but would have to be more strategic in army selection and in game combat

    Balance Is A Lie

  • HorseWithNoNameHorseWithNoName Posts: 1,001Registered Users
    I don't think this will work. Aside from a leadership debuff, all debuffs in other stats cannot really be capitalized on by the opposing player, they are merely more or less worse on certain units. I would say that by far most buffs/debuffs are currently used in the infantery fight where units stay close together, there you hit the most units. Aside from leadership debuffs on your buffs which can be capitalized on by for example more aggressively charging your cav in etc., all buffs/debuffs will bring you more or less closer to winning this infantery fight. Yes, things like a speed debuff or charge bonus debuff will make you wait until the units are already engaged, but you can hardly call that more strategic.
    Also, yes, army selection is more strategic if buffs/debuffs are better or worse on different units, but you already have that without mixing them. Furthermore, army selection can just be copied from another player who is better at the game than you (you only ever know what faction you play against, not what exact build, so you will always have one build that is best against a faction in a current metagame), so I would not place too much of a "strategic focus" on it.
    Maybe I am missing something?

    TL;DR: I don't think making buffs/debuffs more complex will change anyting (aside maybe from leadership debuffs on buffs) because after a while there will be a list of units and spells to take against certain factions with certain factions and you will still mindlessly cast your spells on the biggest blobs (for the target of single target spells, they will be on that list).
  • SeldkamSeldkam Senior Member Posts: 4,336Registered Users
    How has magic gotten worse LOL just because they're getting rid of the really op buffs? Please. What would you have them do, focus all balance efforts on magic? This takes away from other divisions in the team too in some cases...
    The inferior races of this world will be crushed one by one, as our armies move from shore to shore, and hill to hill, and city to city-- and each of their cries will be as music to our ears, for we are the Druchii.
  • CalorCalor Posts: 15Registered Users
    edited December 2016
    Seldkam said:

    How has magic gotten worse LOL just because they're getting rid of the really op buffs? Please. What would you have them do, focus all balance efforts on magic? This takes away from other divisions in the team too in some cases...

    I wouldn't say it's getting worse , just that it's not getting better either and probably won't with the current spell mechanics
  • SeldkamSeldkam Senior Member Posts: 4,336Registered Users
    Calor said:

    Seldkam said:

    How has magic gotten worse LOL just because they're getting rid of the really op buffs? Please. What would you have them do, focus all balance efforts on magic? This takes away from other divisions in the team too in some cases...

    I wouldn't say it's getting worse , just that it's not getting better either and probably won't with the current spell mechanics
    Should've quoted Khorne as that is who I was specifically replying to. I don't know how to convince you otherwise...
    The inferior races of this world will be crushed one by one, as our armies move from shore to shore, and hill to hill, and city to city-- and each of their cries will be as music to our ears, for we are the Druchii.
  • CalorCalor Posts: 15Registered Users
    Seldkam said:

    Calor said:

    Seldkam said:

    How has magic gotten worse LOL just because they're getting rid of the really op buffs? Please. What would you have them do, focus all balance efforts on magic? This takes away from other divisions in the team too in some cases...

    I wouldn't say it's getting worse , just that it's not getting better either and probably won't with the current spell mechanics
    Should've quoted Khorne as that is who I was specifically replying to. I don't know how to convince you otherwise...
    It's not so much that i am not convinced by your position but just that I have a different set of expectations of a good system gameplay and variety wise.
    (You say magic is ok/ I say magic could not only be ok but awesome and complex and more fun and easier to balance and that with just a few changes )
  • DebaucheeDebauchee Junior Member Posts: 1,402Registered Users
    The ideas that lie so far:
    - Channeling spells;
    - Vortex spells staying in one place (except wind of death, because it is kinda brutal);
  • CalorCalor Posts: 15Registered Users

    The ideas that lie so far:
    - Channeling spells;
    - Vortex spells staying in one place (except wind of death, because it is kinda brutal);

    Wind of death could be called a Wind spell; characterized by traveling in a line , also but Flaming skull into that group 2
  • HorseWithNoNameHorseWithNoName Posts: 1,001Registered Users

    The ideas that lie so far:
    - Channeling spells;
    - Vortex spells staying in one place (except wind of death, because it is kinda brutal);

    Channeling spells: I don't think the way counterplay is introduced with this mechanic is universal enough. Especially is you have a flying wizard, but also have your wizard far enough from enemy lines, you need certain elements in your army to disrupt the caster (your own damaging spells, your own flyers, ranged etc.) I don't like how this mechanic restrains army building. I would much prefer to have a universal way to counteract spells implemented (for example counterspells).
    Vortex spells staying in one place: Why even have them over other aoe damage spells like bombardments? The idea I find most compelling at the moment is to restrict the area they will move in (for example they can only move in a circular area with four times their own radius). Even still this could be too good without counterplay imo.

  • Mad MacMad Mac Junior Member Posts: 718Registered Users
    I don't agree that the fundamental problem with magic is the lack of dispel or counterspell mechanics, magic is simply weak because most spells are weak and the few strong spells end up overused because there's no competition for them currently.

    Vortex spells just don't really work as currently designed, you can occasionally get some big damage off against an AI unit cluster but even then the spells will just miss at least half the time, or miraculously pass through multiple units while doing little to no damage due to mass and pushback factors.

    The best fix for these spells is probably giving them a variety of movement patterns, none of which are "Randomly travel in any direction, ending up half a mile away from their starting point" and making their damage more consistent across unit types. More secondary effects would also be useful.

    More straight line spells would be great, as would stationary vortexes, or even vortexes that move randomly within a very tight circle, the worst consequence of random movement right now is the way vortexes stay on target for 2 seconds before charging out into the middle of nowhere for 40 seconds.



  • SeldkamSeldkam Senior Member Posts: 4,336Registered Users
    Yea I'm not saying magic overall is OK, I'm saying the way in which it is implemented, not how it's balanced, is OK.
    The inferior races of this world will be crushed one by one, as our armies move from shore to shore, and hill to hill, and city to city-- and each of their cries will be as music to our ears, for we are the Druchii.
  • CalorCalor Posts: 15Registered Users
    Mad Mac said:

    I don't agree that the fundamental problem with magic is the lack of dispel or counterspell mechanics, magic is simply weak because most spells are weak and the few strong spells end up overused because there's no competition for them currently.

    Vortex spells just don't really work as currently designed, you can occasionally get some big damage off against an AI unit cluster but even then the spells will just miss at least half the time, or miraculously pass through multiple units while doing little to no damage due to mass and pushback factors.

    The best fix for these spells is probably giving them a variety of movement patterns, none of which are "Randomly travel in any direction, ending up half a mile away from their starting point" and making their damage more consistent across unit types. More secondary effects would also be useful.

    More straight line spells would be great, as would stationary vortexes, or even vortexes that move randomly within a very tight circle, the worst consequence of random movement right now is the way vortexes stay on target for 2 seconds before charging out into the middle of nowhere for 40 seconds.



    Seldkam said:

    Yea I'm not saying magic overall is OK, I'm saying the way in which it is implemented, not how it's balanced, is OK.

    But the WAY it is implemented is exactly why it s undertuned
    I am NOT arguing that magic can not be strong in the current system (just putting big numbers in spells does that) just that it leaves no space to properly make it strong AND balanced (by adding counterplay in form of counterspells / interrupts by ranged cav fliers)
    Like some old Assassins in LoL:
    No counterplay + kill potential -> OP

    . THAT s what i have been saying all along
    Yeah counterspelling would be fine 2 imo be it on an allready ingame spell (buffs) or channeled

    The ideas that lie so far:
    - Channeling spells;
    - Vortex spells staying in one place (except wind of death, because it is kinda brutal);

    Channeling spells: I don't think the way counterplay is introduced with this mechanic is universal enough. Especially is you have a flying wizard, but also have your wizard far enough from enemy lines, you need certain elements in your army to disrupt the caster (your own damaging spells, your own flyers, ranged etc.) I don't like how this mechanic restrains army building. I would much prefer to have a universal way to counteract spells implemented (for example counterspells).
    Vortex spells staying in one place: Why even have them over other aoe damage spells like bombardments? The idea I find most compelling at the moment is to restrict the area they will move in (for example they can only move in a circular area with four times their own radius). Even still this could be too good without counterplay imo.

    I like the vortex random movment inside a fixed radius

    Well considering your army normally has at least 1 flyer or 1 ranged or 1 cav unit or 1 mage
    I don't think it would be THAT restrictive but you know what that can still be balanced around the fact instead of the quasi non interruptible spells we have now
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