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Possible solution for doomstacks in WH3?

EterlikEterlik Posts: 69Registered Users
So i have already written that in the suggestion forum, but i would like to hear what you guys think about it. (Sorry if its not allowed to post in both)

Lets start first with the problem itself.
The AI often will fill their armies only with their strongest possible troops, for some factions it ends with a stack that only contains 1-2 infantry and rest filled Big monsters like dragons or a stack that just contains their elite troops.
For me the problem with this behavior is, that it also forces the player to make some kind of doomstack to actually win against it.

So what could be the cause of the doomstacks?
In my opinion the problem lays with the 20 slot lords. So the AI and Player construct their armies to make each slot in the army the strongest possible.
So why should i use up a precious slot for some Tier 1 unit if i can just put a tier 5 unit in that will be more effective in the end? Right now there actually is no reason for it, except economy. But with each city captured that increase the income i can just replace low Tier units for higher once.

What could be a solution to this?
What would be if one Tier 1 unit does not have to compete with one Tier 3+ for a place in an army?
Lets say an army would not have a maximum of 20 units but a cost limit as in the current skirmish system? So each Lord would have an attribute that determines how strong his army can be. I'll call this attribute for now prestige
With that system we would not have a 1on1 comparison of units.
Ok lets do an small example:
Lets say we have a lord with 2400 prestige. (to not escalate the examples i decided here on small armie size)
So a 5 Giant would cost 600 prestige
Trolls cost 400 prestige
Big uns cost 300
Goblins 200

So now i could fill my army with giants.
It would be maxed out with 4 Giants.

or i could make and army with Goblins
So i could have an army of 12 goblins

Or i could go for
4 goblins, 2 Big uns, 1 giant, 1 Troll

So here we have 3 armies with different max unit sizes, but maybe could actually compete with each other? (of course the cost would need to be balanced to fit that. But that was done anyways for the skirmish battles).

Lastly how can this be implemented into the campaign?
Cause the system actually already exists in the game i guess its not as much work as creating a completely new system. (but of course more work then leaving it as it is ;) )
My Idea would be, before a campaign start the player has to set the available prestige for armies as well as a max slot count per army.
You want to be the vermin tide? max Extremely high slot count (40?) with low prestige.
Want to show the world the deadliest doomstack the world have ever seen? high slot count + super high prestige. 40 dragons? lets go for it!
Balanced armies? 20 slot count with medium prestige.
loving small skirmishes? low slot count low prestige.

That way at least everybody could decide before each campaign what kind of fights he would like to have.
Also if that is not enough it could be used for lord development. for example. With each level up the prestige of a lord would increase by some amount. So a level 30 lord could wield a slightly stronger army then a level 1. Or it could be an option in the skill tree of a lord to increase his prestige.

The only real challenge with this system would be, the AI would need to decide what units they take with them depending on the amount of prestige the player choose, which could become quiet complex considering all possibilities.
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Comments

  • Vanilla_GorillaVanilla_Gorilla Posts: 16,843Registered Users
    edited October 16
    The problem with this it simply shifts the meta from the most expensive units to the best priced units.

    I also dislike the idea of setting up a bunch of settings before a campaign. Just give me the best game possible please.
    Game 3 must have variety in its core races. Ogres, Chaos Dwarfs, Kislev, and Demons of Chaos in its full iconic, glorious, undivided glory.
  • EterlikEterlik Posts: 69Registered Users

    The problem with this it simply shifts the meta from the most expensive units to the best priced units.

    That is actually true for the player, but AI is mostly stupid in games and would not go for best price/effect ration cause that is hard to figure out for each patch. But for the player at least it would give him more freedom in army composition to fight Ai armies.


    I also dislike the idea of setting up a bunch of settings before a campaign. Just give me the best game possible please.

    With that, there of course would need to be some kind of default value that you could use so you would not need to set it up every time. Just when you want to have a different experience.
  • sieahsieah Posts: 505Registered Users
    edited October 16
    If its togglable then ok.
    Dont force your opinions on my sandbox experince,
    Post edited by dge1 on
  • gildagriffongildagriffon Posts: 305Registered Users
    i play with doomstacks myself...its no fun to play with 10 chosen versus 3 Greatsword 4 swordsmen and 4 spearman army.

    if its optionary then i have no problem, but not forced.

    i really like to play VS best armies ai can make and afford.
  • EterlikEterlik Posts: 69Registered Users
    edited October 16
    sieah said:

    If its togglable then ok.
    Dont force your ephraimisms on my sandbox experince,

    i play with doomstacks myself...its no fun to play with 10 chosen versus 3 Greatsword 4 swordsmen and 4 spearman army.

    if its optionary then i have no problem, but not forced.

    i really like to play VS best armies ai can make and afford.

    With that system you both could have what you want.
    20 slot count + highest prestige value, and you basically have the system that is currently in the game. I could even just be the default value for new campaigns. So most people would see no difference. The system would simply give the option to not play with/vs doomstacks .
  • JadawinKhanidiJadawinKhanidi Posts: 957Registered Users
    Higher slot count seems to be a technical hurdle. In any case I don't want to have to control so many units, battles just become a mess. The different factions already have decent diversity in numbers from different unit sizes. Skaven may also only have 20 units per army, but many of their units have a high model count, whereas elite high elf units have much fewer models. The differences here could even be made bigger.

    The cost limit is a great idea, which is why I've made a mod that does just that ;) Cost-based Army Caps. Since I play with that, elite doomstacks are a thing of the past, elites and monsters feel special now, and basic units are still used even in the late game by both me and the AI. Imho a massive improvement.
  • EterlikEterlik Posts: 69Registered Users

    Higher slot count seems to be a technical hurdle. In any case I don't want to have to control so many units, battles just become a mess. The different factions already have decent diversity in numbers from different unit sizes. Skaven may also only have 20 units per army, but many of their units have a high model count, whereas elite high elf units have much fewer models. The differences here could even be made bigger.

    The cost limit is a great idea, which is why I've made a mod that does just that ;) Cost-based Army Caps. Since I play with that, elite doomstacks are a thing of the past, elites and monsters feel special now, and basic units are still used even in the late game by both me and the AI. Imho a massive improvement.

    Oh, that sounds like great news to me. I'll check out your mod.
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Posts: 21,207Registered Users
    edited October 16
    They could have higher tier units occupy more than one unit slot. So if dragons took three and Swordmasters two units slots, an army comprised only of them would have five Swordmasters and three dragons + lord for example. You'd have to make a decision regarding quality of the army and the number of troops you can bring to bear.
  • whymakemedothiswhymakemedothis Posts: 30Registered Users
    My issue with this solution is that it restrains the player to solve what is essentially an AI issue.

    The easiest way to address this problem is to remove supply lines so a player has a choice to either doom stack or build extra armies. The problem with this though is that it doesn't address the fact that fighting a stack full of dragons isn't particularly fun.

    One solution I think could work would be to place a cap on the AI limiting the upkeep cost of their armies. This is similar to what is suggested in the OP but only applies to the AI. If you combine this with allowing the AI to always recruit tier one units regardless of whether or not they have the appropriate buildings then late game AI armies would either be small but full of elites or large with a wider variation in unit quality. You can then vary the cap based on difficulty, perhaps even removing it completely on legendary.
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Posts: 21,207Registered Users

    My issue with this solution is that it restrains the player to solve what is essentially an AI issue.

    The easiest way to address this problem is to remove supply lines so a player has a choice to either doom stack or build extra armies. The problem with this though is that it doesn't address the fact that fighting a stack full of dragons isn't particularly fun.

    One solution I think could work would be to place a cap on the AI limiting the upkeep cost of their armies. This is similar to what is suggested in the OP but only applies to the AI. If you combine this with allowing the AI to always recruit tier one units regardless of whether or not they have the appropriate buildings then late game AI armies would either be small but full of elites or large with a wider variation in unit quality. You can then vary the cap based on difficulty, perhaps even removing it completely on legendary.

    You'd still doomstack without supply lines because elite units are straight upgrades to lower tier units with no downside and cost isn't an issue by midgame.
  • Aram_theheadAram_thehead Posts: 901Registered Users
    edited October 16
    Oh look! The end times have come! Archaon and his strongest army are on the move! ... oh wait... a bunch of marauders? ooooh yes, unit caps!
  • whymakemedothiswhymakemedothis Posts: 30Registered Users
    edited October 16

    You'd still doomstack without supply lines because elite units are straight upgrades to lower tier units with no downside and cost isn't an issue by midgame.

    But that is the players choice. The problem at the moment is that the player doesn't get much of a choice as the AI doom stacks and the only reliable counter is a player doom stack.

    IMO the best solution is one that stops the AI from doing so on all but the highest difficulties. Then players who don't want to doom stack don't have to and those that like doing so can continue to.
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Posts: 21,207Registered Users

    Oh look! The end times have come! Archaon and his strongest army are on the move! ... oh wait... a bunch of marauders? ooooh yes, unit caps!

    #1 You're defending the Chaos Invasion mechanic
    #2 See #1
  • Aram_theheadAram_thehead Posts: 901Registered Users
    edited October 16
    eeehm yes? I am indeed defending the chaos invasion mechanic. I think that the player needs a final threat to face. The way it is now is not fun, I agree, but I think that it should exist.

    Anyway, I prefer a limitation like the one that the OP mentioned instead of rare+ special+ core caps. If the caps were completely removable through skills and technologies all the better.
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Posts: 21,207Registered Users

    eeehm yes? I am indeed defending the chaos invasion mechanic. I think that the game needs a final threat to face. The way it is now is not fun, I agree, but I think that it should exist.

    Anyway, I prefer a limitation like the one that the OP mentioned instead of rare+ special+ core caps. If the caps were completely removable through skills and technologies all the better.

    LoL, right now the Chaos invasion fizzles before it can take off even if you let the AI deal with it.
  • Aram_theheadAram_thehead Posts: 901Registered Users
    Yeah, but that's because the empire is very strong now. Chaos invasion should be changed and made more threatening. Unit caps won't solve that. In fact, I think they will make it even weaker.
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Posts: 21,207Registered Users

    Yeah, but that's because the empire is very strong now. Chaos invasion should be changed and made more threatening. Unit caps won't solve that. In fact, I think they will make it even weaker.

    Thing is, the Chaos Invasion will never be good. It's either a laughable non-issue as it is right now or it turns most of the map into a moonscape no matter what you do. Both options suck. That's why I want it gone completely and WoC simply be a faction like all others.
  • JadawinKhanidiJadawinKhanidi Posts: 957Registered Users
    I agree, the Chaos invasion is fundamentally flawed even just as an idea and can't be fixed. Same as the armies spawning out of nowhere in the Vortex campaign. That is just a super lame way to create a challenge. The challenge should come from AI factions that organically grow into powerful empires, not something conjured up randomly to drop from the sky.

    You'd still doomstack without supply lines because elite units are straight upgrades to lower tier units with no downside and cost isn't an issue by midgame.

    But that is the players choice.
    I don't consider the choice to play intentionally bad just to keep things challenging a real choice. Not using pure elite stacks is a bad move in the unmodded game, period.
  • sieahsieah Posts: 505Registered Users



    Thing is, the Chaos Invasion will never be good. It's either a laughable non-issue as it is right now or it turns most of the map into a moonscape no matter what you do. Both options suck. That's why I want it gone completely and WoC simply be a faction like all others.

    And how exacly making the chaos invasion stacks full of marauders and warhounds improve it?
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Posts: 21,207Registered Users
    sieah said:



    Thing is, the Chaos Invasion will never be good. It's either a laughable non-issue as it is right now or it turns most of the map into a moonscape no matter what you do. Both options suck. That's why I want it gone completely and WoC simply be a faction like all others.

    And how exacly making the chaos invasion stacks full of marauders and warhounds improve it?
    I guess you missed that part where I said I want it gone completely.
  • sieahsieah Posts: 505Registered Users
    Yes i missed that. Interesting idea.
  • WojmirVonCarsteinWojmirVonCarstein Posts: 726Registered Users

    They could have higher tier units occupy more than one unit slot. So if dragons took three and Swordmasters two units slots, an army comprised only of them would have five Swordmasters and three dragons + lord for example. You'd have to make a decision regarding quality of the army and the number of troops you can bring to bear.

    This is bad because it's too simplistic. Some units will take up "too many slots" while other "not enough".
  • WojmirVonCarsteinWojmirVonCarstein Posts: 726Registered Users
    No need to re-invent the wheel really. Many mods have already done a fantastic job with this.

    My experience is with SFO: Grimhammer II. But I am sure there are many other out there just like it or even better in terms of AI army compositions and creative, fun and logical ways to move away from doomstacks.
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Posts: 21,207Registered Users

    They could have higher tier units occupy more than one unit slot. So if dragons took three and Swordmasters two units slots, an army comprised only of them would have five Swordmasters and three dragons + lord for example. You'd have to make a decision regarding quality of the army and the number of troops you can bring to bear.

    This is bad because it's too simplistic. Some units will take up "too many slots" while other "not enough".
    Explain.
  • ron1404nlron1404nl Junior Member Posts: 217Registered Users
    I personally really like the SFO mod approach. Kinda enable you to play the way you like.

    You want 19 star dragons and a Lord no problem disable it.

    You like the TK approach were you can increase you unit caps by building the required recruitment building and research tech, sure then select that option.

    You like cap based on individual armies, that option is available too.

    For me I hate spam braindead armies so the TK approach is my personal favorite but this way you can play anyway you like.

    Of course the argument can be made "don't recruit spam armies", but without caps and balance 70% of the units are useless or just inefficient. Especially due to the increase % upkeep for every army you own which forces you towards doom stacks.
  • WojmirVonCarsteinWojmirVonCarstein Posts: 726Registered Users

    They could have higher tier units occupy more than one unit slot. So if dragons took three and Swordmasters two units slots, an army comprised only of them would have five Swordmasters and three dragons + lord for example. You'd have to make a decision regarding quality of the army and the number of troops you can bring to bear.

    This is bad because it's too simplistic. Some units will take up "too many slots" while other "not enough".
    Explain.
    Your system puts units into "tiers". 1 slot, 2 slots, 3 slots etc. The jump from 1 slot to 2 slots is huge (exactly double). You might have unit A at 1 slot, and unit B be "worth" only 1.4 slots, or 1.7 slots etc. If you make unit B 1 slot, it will clearly be better than unit A and unit A will never be seen again. If you make unit B 2 slots, then it will never be taken because it takes up too many slots in your army for what its worth
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Posts: 21,207Registered Users
    edited October 16

    They could have higher tier units occupy more than one unit slot. So if dragons took three and Swordmasters two units slots, an army comprised only of them would have five Swordmasters and three dragons + lord for example. You'd have to make a decision regarding quality of the army and the number of troops you can bring to bear.

    This is bad because it's too simplistic. Some units will take up "too many slots" while other "not enough".
    Explain.
    Your system puts units into "tiers". 1 slot, 2 slots, 3 slots etc. The jump from 1 slot to 2 slots is huge (exactly double). You might have unit A at 1 slot, and unit B be "worth" only 1.4 slots, or 1.7 slots etc. If you make unit B 1 slot, it will clearly be better than unit A and unit A will never be seen again. If you make unit B 2 slots, then it will never be taken because it takes up too many slots in your army for what its worth
    A Swordmaster is easily much better than most mid and low tier infantry, so why shouldn't they force you to have less troops in total? The infinite spammability of elites is the current major issue with army construction in this game. Elite armies simply have no real downside.
  • EterlikEterlik Posts: 69Registered Users

    They could have higher tier units occupy more than one unit slot. So if dragons took three and Swordmasters two units slots, an army comprised only of them would have five Swordmasters and three dragons + lord for example. You'd have to make a decision regarding quality of the army and the number of troops you can bring to bear.

    This is bad because it's too simplistic. Some units will take up "too many slots" while other "not enough".
    Explain.
    Your system puts units into "tiers". 1 slot, 2 slots, 3 slots etc. The jump from 1 slot to 2 slots is huge (exactly double). You might have unit A at 1 slot, and unit B be "worth" only 1.4 slots, or 1.7 slots etc. If you make unit B 1 slot, it will clearly be better than unit A and unit A will never be seen again. If you make unit B 2 slots, then it will never be taken because it takes up too many slots in your army for what its worth
    A Swordmaster is easily much better than most mid and low tier infantry, so why shouldn't they force you to have less troops in total? The infinite spammability of elites is the current major issue with army construction in this game. Elite armies simply have no real downside.
    I think what he wanted to point out was, that limiting it by slots gives not enough freedom to balance it.
    like some tier 2 units might be just little better then a tier 1 unit, which would be hard to justify it taking 2 slots.
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Posts: 21,207Registered Users
    Eterlik said:

    They could have higher tier units occupy more than one unit slot. So if dragons took three and Swordmasters two units slots, an army comprised only of them would have five Swordmasters and three dragons + lord for example. You'd have to make a decision regarding quality of the army and the number of troops you can bring to bear.

    This is bad because it's too simplistic. Some units will take up "too many slots" while other "not enough".
    Explain.
    Your system puts units into "tiers". 1 slot, 2 slots, 3 slots etc. The jump from 1 slot to 2 slots is huge (exactly double). You might have unit A at 1 slot, and unit B be "worth" only 1.4 slots, or 1.7 slots etc. If you make unit B 1 slot, it will clearly be better than unit A and unit A will never be seen again. If you make unit B 2 slots, then it will never be taken because it takes up too many slots in your army for what its worth
    A Swordmaster is easily much better than most mid and low tier infantry, so why shouldn't they force you to have less troops in total? The infinite spammability of elites is the current major issue with army construction in this game. Elite armies simply have no real downside.
    I think what he wanted to point out was, that limiting it by slots gives not enough freedom to balance it.
    like some tier 2 units might be just little better then a tier 1 unit, which would be hard to justify it taking 2 slots.
    Restrict it to T4 and T5. No problem.
  • whymakemedothiswhymakemedothis Posts: 30Registered Users

    I don't consider the choice to play intentionally bad just to keep things challenging a real choice. Not using pure elite stacks is a bad move in the unmodded game, period.

    I don't believe I suggested playing bad for a challenge. Nor did I suggest not using pure elite stacks is a good move in the unmodded game, in fact I stated the exact opposite. What I did say is that applying caps to the player is the wrong solution as it takes away their choice.

    Generally doom stacks exist in almost every total war game I've played. However in most games they don't become a problem until you've played a ridiculous number of turns. In my experience with Warhammer the AI starts rolling out doom stacks not long past turn 100 even on normal difficulty. Compare this to Three Kingdoms where I've never seen an army with more than a handful of elites before turn 200. At it's heart this is a pacing problem that CA will hopefully address in the upcoming QOL update.

    My two cents the pacing problem is a result of an overly generous economy. The fact that the AI and to an extent the player can doom stack indicates that they have far too much money available to pay the upkeep for so many elites. The problem however is that if you reduce income that has ripple effects on things such as province development which I imagine make it a nightmare for CA to balance.
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