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Strigoi design flaws in ME, no overcast, earthing skill pointless

Tempus_fugitTempus_fugit Senior MemberRegistered Users Posts: 1,293
I wanted to present some feedback as food for thought to improve the Strigoi Ghoul King lord characters in Mortal Empire campaigns.

(For reference, on tabletop, Strigoi were only level 1 lore of vampires casters (meaning only one spell, invocation of Nehek). They were reliant on necromancer and vampire allies for spellcasting. They performed well in melee because of Str5, poison and the ability to reroll failed to-hit rolls.)

Problems:

1. No overcast = earthing skill wholly useless.
The ghoul king can no longer overcast at all in the single player campaigns (Mortal Empires). This makes the tier 2 skill “earthing” (-15% miscast base chance) redundant and a waste of space.

2. No crypt horror summoning.
The Strigoi can overcast the special ghoul summoning spell in WH2 custom battles (I guess can overcast in WH2 MP battles), but not in the campaigns. This is odd, because balance is less important in single-player campaigns than in MP battles.

2.1 Only the Strigoi had access to this spell, but now no one has access to it. I think it should either be available or changed to make it dangerous to use, from a miscast base chance. This would fit with the current design of Strigoi to reduce the focus on spell casting.

Suggestions:

A. Remove the earthing skill and give a “Loremaster”-type skill that reduces the cost to cast spells. (least effort)

B. Give a secondary skill to ghoul summon skill to enable overcast to summon crypt horrors, but without the WH2-style reduction of miscast chance and spell cost. This would make existing earthing skill useful again. (low effort)

C. Give ghoul and crypt horror cost reduction and specialist buff ability to Strigoi to at least differentiate it for playstyle/flavour reasons from skeleton focused necromancers and generic vampire lords. (moderate effort)

Thoughts? Suggestions?
There is no time but the present. – S:TW Hojo, R:TW Brutii/Germania/Alemanni(BI), Med2: Venice, S2: Oda, R2: Julia/Boii/Suebi/Lusitani, Attila: Geats/Garamantians, WH: All factions VH, Wood Elves on L. TWWH2: Lizardmen, Dark Elves, Skaven, Khalida, High Elves, Vampirates. ME: Khalida, Vampire Counts, Carcasonne

Comments

  • Elder_MolochElder_Moloch Registered Users Posts: 1,799
    I thought it was a bug with Nehek only...but it seems not. Wow. Just wow. Basically deleted unit from SP.
    Btw, was he able to summon Horrors in previous patch? I just can't remember (I don't remember, if I used any, except testing). I mean, it's completely ilogical to make spell only for him and then cut half of this spell in SP. Like what?
    Maybe it just says that he can't overcast, but actually he can.

    Not only he costs more and his upkeep was higher, but now he can't use not only overcasted Nehek, but also all the spells, including his unique summon spell....like why??!!

    The only thing was good about him before is that he got slightly faster access to TG mount compared to Dragon mount and didn't need to spend point on other mounts. Everything else was worse. Plus Dragons were worse in Game 1 and he had access to overcasted spell versions and at one point his summons were cool.



    Suggestions.


    Well, if we go with Strigoi like in TT/Lore: more Ghouls/Horrors/Varghulf/Vargheists/TG oriented unit and more melee oriented, than magic, while magic and support abilities are more intuitive based, raher than based on self-awareness:


    1. Decrease his cost in SP/MP and decrease his Upkeep to Normal level.

    2. Increase his melee output, because ironically his bad in melee too, but keep his mount+base cost same in MP, while increase mount lvl requirement to 25 in Campaign. Alternatively, no upkeep/cost decrease, but decrease cost/upkeep for his mount in SP/MP and level 15 required in SP.

    3. Replace some of his Red Skills with one, which Isabella has. So it would be more oriented on support for Ghouls/Horrors/Varghulf/Vargheists/TG/Dire Wolves/Fell Bats and Zombies/Skeleton/Wights (Grave Guard/Black Knights). Replace his skill for Vampire hero capacity for Wight King capacity or Necromancer hero capacity.

    4. Give him same skill progression as hero mages had before current patch, as far as I remember (they also were Level 1 in TT, but they were not so mutilated): So give only 2 step skill versions with access to overcast, but no other buffs for spells. Alternatively, just make him as heroes are now in this section. Don't get why he got negative special treatment.

    5. Cut his additional magical stuff like Earthing, Power Drain and Evasion skills and replace his skills on something specifically for him and for support (either ability skills of WIght King/Vampire Hero/Banshee, either with default abilities of Isabella/Vlad, but for skill progression).

    6. Instead of Gaze of Nagash he should get access to Macabre and instead of Soulblight access to Aspect of Dreadknight. Tehnically, according to TT he's the only one VC mage, who shouldn't have access to Lore of Death at all, lol.

    7. He shouldn't be able to wear any magic armor. So, if possible magic armor shouldn't be accessible for him. Alternatively, he shouldn't able to wear any armor at all, but have some good (uncommon/rare) random ability on default.
    He should have "Ugly" trait on default (not counting the one which you could select) and have no "Cunning" one.
    He shouldn't get Trait with Poisoned attacks in Lord selection menu, but get better ambush instead.

    Same as all other Vampires he shouldn't get access to Immune to Psychology Trait, but get Leadership+Terror or bigger leadership.


    If we go with Strigoi as mixed unit, well, than he should get some mixed stuff instead and shoudn't be that bad with magic.
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  • SelakahSelakah Registered Users Posts: 397
    edited June 2018
    I've been trying to draw attention to this issue since late last year by repeatedly posting this inconsistency on the Bug Report Forums.

    CA's official stance on the topic is that the Strigoi Ghoul King, the Branchwraith and the Warplock Engineer all are low-level casters in the Tabletop. As such, they don't get the benefit of the new, reworked spell casting trees that made their debut in WH2. Instead, they use the WH1-esque 2-skill point talent tree for spells. For some reason, however, the Warplock Engineer CAN overcast in Campaign, but the Branchwraith and Strigoi Ghoul King cannot. All 3 characters can overcast in Custom and Multiplayer battles, however.

    This is such a massive oversight it cannot possibly be intentional. To make matters worse, the Strigoi Ghoul King's special ability to summon Crypt Horrors is advertised on the Steam page for the Grim and the Grave, yet it's nowhere to be found in Mortal Empires. If they are going to keep the Strigoi Ghoul King inconsistently crippled in campaign, they should amend the Steam store page for the Grim and the Grave with the disclaimer that his special ability doesn't work in WH2.
  • Tempus_fugitTempus_fugit Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,293
    edited June 2018
    Thank you for the replies.


    I think, in general terms, the Strigoi should be a “lower” level caster, but on par with a “lord-level” low-level caster, so access to at least some skills that “low-level” hero casters get. That means access to overcast but no reduction in cost and no miscast reduction for overcasts from skills.

    I think that using the increased base chance for miscasts (I think it sits at 60% base without skills in earthing or level 3 of spell skill) and he should NOT have access to miscast reduction skills but should be allowed to overcast, even if it is only one spell: his crypt ghouls/horrors spell. More risk, medium reward and only available to him.
    -

    @Elder_Moloch

    1.
    2. I think he is okay in melee. I played a VH/VH with him recently and he does OK versus a generic vampire lord, IF buffed by a corpse cart. Without it he gets murdered by other lords.
    But the Strigoi is not supposed to be the greatest fighter. In TT, he could not access certain armours and giving him weapons was generally sub-optimal because he lost poison.

    However, giving him just a slight buff in attack animation speed or upping his att and def stats by 5 would be acceptable.
    I think that giving him access to the terrorgheist at level 15 is appropriate, at the least to balance him against the new world factions, where lizards get a carnosaur at level 15.

    3. I agree differentiating him to make him ghoul-focused would be appropriate and thematic.

    4.

    ... So give only 2 step skill versions with access to overcast, but no other buffs for spells....

    I agree 100%. Well said.

    5. Giving him upkeep reduction and maybe +speed skills for ghoul and horror units would be good. Or some kind of buffs, melee defence for ghouls and horrors would be nice, but powerful. (I personally think that a red skill tree that buffs his ghouls and horrors AND himself (like wood elves) would be gold, but it is not really workable.)

    6. I don’t really agree. Vlad should have access to lore of shadows (in TT, iirc), but he instead has all the lore of vampire spells, without arcane conduit as fits a Level 3 mage.
    I think the lack of dans macabre is suitable/fitting for the Strigoi, since it is a specific lack or tactical challenge. It means you will need necromancers, which is not bad and is appropriate or fits his theme similar to TT.
    I like soulblight, -25% wep str and – armour is a good hex.
    Gaze is okay, especially from atop your monstrous bat-monster terrorgheist.
    I am ambivalent to aspect of the dreadknight (access to terror is fairly common for Vamps), but it is FAR more useful than doom and darkness -16 leadership, which you only have in tier 2 and cannot overcast. I would be OK to replace it with aspect.

    7. I don’t agree in the no armour argument, as that is one of the few ways to make him at least acceptable.
    That said, your argument is in line with TT rules.

    Yeah, the lord traits system is still not great. Remember CA got around that by making the traits give two or more buffs, so +ambush success is the other from “cunning” trait.
    Still suboptimal and does need a rework/relook, but not priority for CA to address.
    -

    @Selakah

    I think I commented on your thread in the bugs report late last year/early this year.
    Selakah said:

    ...they don't get the benefit of the new, reworked spell casting trees that made their debut in WH2. Instead, they use the WH1-esque 2-skill point talent tree for spells. For some reason, however, the Warplock Engineer CAN overcast in Campaign, but the Branchwraith and Strigoi Ghoul King cannot. All 3 characters can overcast in Custom and Multiplayer battles, however....


    I agree with you about the weird disjoin in MP v SP battles. Seems odd and unnecessary.

    I agree whole-heartedly that he should be able to overcast his spells, with the added chance of hurting himself with miscasts. Sure, high health + regen makes it slightly less of a problem than for e.g. warlock engineer, but the engineer would probably never see combat, whereas the Strigoi is about nothing but combat. And you will hit the healing cap fairly quickly, in any case.
    Selakah said:

    ...cannot possibly be intentional....

    Haha. Yeah, I think it is intentional, but an oversight/stuff up. Maybe all the summer sun got to the development team/or most were on holiday while coding this update.

    I think that reworking some aspects of the old world lords is overdue (or still coming in the worx).

    The Strigoi was a key part of the Grim and Grave DLC (I bought it because I wanted a Strigoi ever since I saw him demolish Ogres in a TT video), so I think that giving him a bit of a buff ‘n shine is needed.

    Don’t go overboard with the buffing, but for goodness sakes, at least give him something to compensate for losing his only special spell. Bring him at least closer to new world lords and heroes.


    Personally, I would say give him back overcast for horrors at least, even if you don’t buff anything else.

    That would be an acceptable tolerable solution for me and not make me lament as much about buying Grim and the Grave just so that I can have corpse carts which are redundant or out ran by the rest of your army once you hit tier 3 armies.
    There is no time but the present. – S:TW Hojo, R:TW Brutii/Germania/Alemanni(BI), Med2: Venice, S2: Oda, R2: Julia/Boii/Suebi/Lusitani, Attila: Geats/Garamantians, WH: All factions VH, Wood Elves on L. TWWH2: Lizardmen, Dark Elves, Skaven, Khalida, High Elves, Vampirates. ME: Khalida, Vampire Counts, Carcasonne
  • Elder_MolochElder_Moloch Registered Users Posts: 1,799
    edited June 2018
    @Tempus_fugit
    2. My point is based on tests in 1v1 in Custom battles against single entities on normal difficulty, since it's more representative (and even there sometimes is a significant offset, since in tests for single entitties each hit often matters). Since almost all units, which I tested him against were buffed and he was not, I assumed that he became even worse since then, but I admit I need to retest it when I would be able to.
    So yeah, it's too much IF needed for him to work in melee well (comparable to cheaper lords). So it would be nice, if his base price and upkeep would go down in SP/MP or at least he would be worth it.
    Edited: Forgot to mention that there should be balance between cost decrease/upkeep decrease and stat buffs, of course, so he won't become instant number 1 option for recruitment.

    As for 15 lvl requirement, well. As I said it's better be alternative, since it would turn Strigoi fully into "this guy with TG mount" and would neglect his non-mounted version, and non-mounted versions already not quite popular in SP and in even in MP, especially with this guy. So, it would be nice, if he save his base status as good option too.

    However, giving him just a slight buff in attack animation speed or upping his att and def stats by 5 would be acceptable.

    Yeah, this could be nice too.

    6. That's actually interesting. Didn't know that. In which edition does he have access to Lore of Shadows?
    I was refering to 8th edition, where Vlad was Level 3 Spellcaster with only Lore of Vampires, since CA devs mostly orientate on this edition in first place in cases of existing content.
    Also, Vlad actually has now access to Arcane in MP Custom/QB.
    Btw, I actually thought about giving Isabella Lore of Shadows, before I start take TT as more serious reference, but I guess Vlad is also a nice canditate, especially, if he had one in one of edtiitons.

    My point was to give him level 1 spells (Common) from both Lores, when possible.
    Plus it would make him a bit better in SP/MP, since Macabre is better spell, than Gaze of Nagash (at least at this point, plus I hope it would grant Vigour restoration). Plus it would make him a bit more mixed and address support part better.
    As for Gaze of Nagash, well...in SP it's ok when you have it for Lord with good upgrade buffs and even in some cases it could be helpful in other rare cases. Tehnically it could stay as alternative, especially, if it would become better later.
    Soulblight is good indeed, but again, I thought about giving priority to Level 1 spells, plus it would work better in conjuction with morale debuffs from Doom and Darkness and TG breath LD debuff. I also think that base version of Strigoi would gain more from Dreadknight, while still keep him in Level 1 area with only Doom and Darkness/Summons exception.
    Actually Doom and Darkness has AoE overcast too, but not for Strigoi. So, if we hope he would get overcast versions back - it would fit as well, as Soulblight and would make him more about terrorbombing, but I do agree that having access to more variable debuff and missile spell also makes him quite nice in theory.

    7. Again, if he won't get access to armor, as I suggest he could get access to random good default ability to address his previous life. But I do agree that's not necessary and do think that it would take time from CA devs.

    Agree. My comment about traits is more about flavorful option, than actual dire need.


    Personally, I would say give him back overcast for horrors at least, even if you don’t buff anything else.

    That would be an acceptable tolerable solution for me and not make me lament as much about buying Grim and the Grave just so that I can have corpse carts which are redundant or out ran by the rest of your army once you hit tier 3 armies.

    Yeah, it would be a bare minimum, which needed +overcasted Nehek and cost/upkeep reduction to make it fair.

    Grim and Grave is in general bad now for VC, imo. Basically only Ghorst was improved in SP and Corpse Carts in SP...well, you need Tier 2,3 for Balefire/Unholy Loadstone + Necromancer Tower, which is meh, for such unit. It's not that good to be hidden in such manner (maybe it protects VC AI from CC spam, though).
    It's basically Corpse Carts DLC+RoR for VC, since you have 3 types of same CC, +4 CC mounts (1 for Ghorst).
    While for actual units you have Ghorst, Mortis Engine, Strigoi and 1 Corpse Cart +RoR of different quaility and only base CC and Mortis Engine is somehow good/cost-effective with some remarks.
    It's straight opposite for P2W for sure, but I'm not sure, if that's good. So hope at least some stuff would be fixed.

    Anyway, I do think Vamps need some fixes in SP/MP. Would be really interesting to know how people would feel with restricted AoE (amount of maximum units affected) for healing for VC.
    Also, it would be interesting to see, if replenishment blue skill would be binded to Chanelling Stance.
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