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Auras skills: balance overwiev

PocmanPocman Registered Users Posts: 3,021
edited June 25 in Balancing Discussions
I am the only one that feels that any aura that does not include an MA/MD buff is extremely weak? Or viceversa, that MA and MD auras are too powerful?

I am going to examine auras only, but this applies to almost every buff...

MA and MD auras

Assuming a basic chance to hit of 35%, a 5 MA increase for the attacking unit means a dps increase of 15%. Similarly, a MD increase of 5 means a dps decrease of 15%. Obviously, due to how the chance to hit works in this game, this is a simplification. For example, if a lord with 50 MA and 50 MD attacks empire swordmen, (32 MA and 32 MD), a 5 MA increase to unit X means "only" a 9% dps increase. While a MD increase of 5 to unit X means the empire swordmen dps is reduced by 30%. And, on reverse, increasing the MA of swordmen in that situation would give them a huge dps increase, while increasing their MD would have a very small efect. But, on average, a 5 MA and 5 MD means a 15% dps difference.

The standard 70 gold aura buys you a 15% dps increase in a 30 meter aura, while every time the price it is increased by one range, it "doubles" (fom 5 to 9) that amount.


Typically, MA and MD auras are priced like this:

+5 MA/Md (30 meters) costs 70 gold (DE princesss, tree lords and heroes)

+9 MA/MD (BLOBB) cost around 165 (40 meters) (probably should be more expensive due to the extra range).

+ 5 MA and 5MD (30 Meters) for 160 (Khalida).

+5 MA and MD, 55 meter range (Settra) (240 gold)

The advantages of MA auras also come from those being not very situational (they work as long as the buffed unit is in melee) and easy to use (just charge your lord/hero and the unit you want to buff into melee).


They can also become obnoxiously powerful in melee blobs, specially if stacked.

In comparision...

Ranged auras

In order to get an aura that actually increases ranged dps by 10%, you have to pay twice the amount than what melees pay for a 15% increase. And i am not even sure if this auras actually buff explosive damage.

+10% non ap damage only, 30 meters, 78 gold (Eye of Kurnous, Glady and Waystalker). Taking into account their ap ratios, the actual increase for the lords and heroes is of about 7%, while the increase to some of their troops range from 8% (normal archers) to a measly 1% (starfire shafts). The actual dps increase is even lower due to armour.
+ 10 recharge speed, 40 meters. 80 gold. HE princess. If 10 recharge speed means firing 10% faster, it would be almost similar to the effects of the MA buffs. However, in practice, that's not exactly true, as this does not increase the potential damage of the unit, as it does not increase ammunition.
+ 10 recharge speed, 40 meters, 82 gold. Handmaiden.
+ 10% missile damage (both AP an non AP), Vampire Coast, 30 meters. 162 gold.

The only "decent" ranged aura is Khalida's blessing of Asaph, which for 155 gold gives 15% recharge speed, plus 15% extra ranged damage (both ap and non ap damage). It's basically the only aura that gives a buff as effective as the MD or MA ones... but it is applied on a unit that does not even have a ranged attack. Meaning its useless except for very specific builds.

This buffs are also very situational. Typically, you dont want to blob ranged units, and some ranged units (for example, those with different ranges, or 360º shooting, or different speeds, etc. tend to naturally separate from each other.

Weapon damage auras

There are not many of this. However, there are some examples:

- 8 WD aura (waystalker) - 70 gold, in a 30 meter area. A minus 8% dps decrease, but only for non ap damage. Again, 1/3 the effect of a MA aura, for the same price.
+8 WD aura (warrior priest). 70 gold, 30 meter aura. This one is tricky, though, as it also gives fire damage, so i can see how this one may be considered balanced.

Charge bonus auras.

This are probably the **** ones.

Typically, CB areas are balanced around them giving a 8% bonus for 70 gold.

Not only is the effect poor. I mean, grail knights, one of the units that would benefit more from such a buff, ony get an extra 6,2 CB... That is, aproximately, 10 % extra damage during the first attack of the charge. But the effect is reduced as the charge bonus disappears, so in practice, that's more of a 5% or 6% dps bonus, that only works while charging.

However, not only is the effect negligible. It is also extremely situational. I mean, in order for it to work perfectly, you need to be near a unit with an actual charge bonus. Your grail knights engage and 7 seconds later Alberic reaches them? half of the bonus is wasted. You are using Alberic on foot? The effects of his bonus on the to the Bretonnian infantry with the highest CB (squires) is of about 1,76 extra CB, and they can't cycle charge. SEMs? again, a joke. For a SEM with 50 MA, 50 MD and 400 ws, the extra CB means basically 0. Chance to hit is capped at 90, meaning the CB buff won't increase your chance to hit a lot of times. While extra weapon damage during the charge, when your hits deal 400 damage, is a ridiculous 1% increase.

Armour auras

They increase/decrease armour by about 7 points for 70 gold. Their actual effect is determined by the amount of armour the objective has before the aura, and the ap ratio of the attacking unit. But in basic terms, 7 armour means 4,9% non ap damage reduction. Even while using it in a unit with relatively high armour, while being attacked by a unit with low ap ratio (25%), the actual dps change is only about a measly 8%. Yeah, armour has the advantage of working on ranged attacks too, but this effect is much smaller when used in units with lower armour ratios, or in units attacked by enemies with high ap ratios. So it's just as situational as an MA/MD aura while being numerically inferior.

TL;DR

MA and MD auras have an average 15% effect on melee dps while being super easy to use. Similar buffs to other stats are balanced around a lower numerical effectivity, plus are typically MUCH more difficult ot use. This needs a generalized balance pass, that imho, would do wonders in terms of actually balancing a lot of lords and heroes.

Comments

  • eumaieseumaies Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 6,541
    Great great post. Thanks for working through all that. The item and spell imbalances can be pretty glaring.
  • Green0Green0 Registered Users Posts: 6,962
    degen aura from Plague Bell -> 1 of the stronger auras in the game, doesn't inclue MA.

    Alarielle aura also.

  • Disposable HeroDisposable Hero Registered Users Posts: 5,198
    Good summary.

    It makes some sense that ranged buff auras are less efficient than melee though since they can project that buff all over the place through the range of the units they buff. Melee auras have to move the actual area around to where it is needed.

  • PocmanPocman Registered Users Posts: 3,021
    Green0 said:

    degen aura from Plague Bell -> 1 of the stronger auras in the game, doesn't inclue MA.

    Alarielle aura also.

    I deliberately left auras ward save/resistance auras, leadership auras and other special effects auras out of the original post.

    Regarding mortis engine like effects, because their power is super tied to the actual unit that uses the aura, and can't be balanced in a vacuum. Sometimes you don't even know how much they pay for those auras, as they are tied to a mount/unit. I think those are better analyzed as part of the unit they are tied to, not as abilities.

    Regarding leadership auras, because leadership effects are super dependant on the roster. A +leadership aura may be great for skavens or Greenskins, but completely useless for a WE player. A -leadership aura can be great when combined with fear and terror, but not really useful against dawis. Etc.

    Regarding ward saves, I would say that a 12% phys res aura for 165, on a vacuum, feels strong but balanced (taking MD auras as the reference). However... in a roster like the HE one, where you have a Ror with a ward save aura, units with a lot of physical resistance, and/or ward saves (arcane phoenix and phoenix guard), a missiles resitance aura (noble) and a magic resitance aura (loremaster) it's a huge problem. Specially, when that aura is given to a healer that can even apply even more physical resistance (shield of thorns) and has the shield of sapphery.

    HEs are literally the one army that, depending on the enemy composition, can simply **** back and relax, and still win while AFK.
  • Green0Green0 Registered Users Posts: 6,962
    Pocman said:


    HEs are literally the one army that, depending on the enemy composition, can simply **** back and relax, and still win while AFK.

    if this was true they would win in recent KOTHs and tournaments, instead they tend to lose in bad hands.
  • another505another505 Registered Users Posts: 2,238
    edited June 25
    Yaaa spirit of manaan is crap

    I wouldnt mind if it cost 70 gold and consider as mediocre speed self buff instead of thinking of buffing others, but at ~145 gold, i expect it to help others unit decently

    I suggested it to be map wide but with lower numbers. Perhaps all CB buffs should be map wide, just tinker with the number to make it balance
    It is just incredibly hard to time them and position them correctly.

    The warrior priest fire buff is not bad.
    Nice against faction with regeneration , cost little and easy to use.
  • another505another505 Registered Users Posts: 2,238
    just to correct op

    BOBB
    "+9 MA/MD (BLOBB) cost around 165 (40 meters) (probably should be more expensive due to the extra range)."

    dragon slayer fang giving 9md is a bit different, it gives armor but also it is situational that only triggers below 50 percent hp.
  • PocmanPocman Registered Users Posts: 3,021
    Green0 said:

    Pocman said:


    HEs are literally the one army that, depending on the enemy composition, can simply **** back and relax, and still win while AFK.

    if this was true they would win in recent KOTHs and tournaments, instead they tend to lose in bad hands.
    How would a Vampire counts player with a standard army win against Alarielle on foot with all her items, plus earthblood, tempest and shield of thorns, Loremaster with magic res aura, 3 x phoenix guards, an arcane phoenix, ROR sisters, and ROR spearmen?

    Seriously, try beating boxed phoenix guards with 100 armor, 40 MD (before MP) 55% resitance (of which 34% is ward save), plus additional ward save and phys res from shield of shappery and shield of thorns. While all the HE units units have ITP, more than 40 MD even without MP (there is only one infantry unit in the Vampire Roster that can hit against that reliably) , and you still have almost 1200 gold left.

    Obviously, It's a cheese army that is not always viable, and that is countereable. But if the vampire player fails to prepare for it on the selection screen, it's almost a free win for the HE player.

    In any case, I wasn't trying to attack HEs or suggesting any kind of OPness when played normally: I was just saying that the way resistance stacking works makes it very suitable for cheating.

    just to correct op

    BOBB
    "+9 MA/MD (BLOBB) cost around 165 (40 meters) (probably should be more expensive due to the extra range)."

    dragon slayer fang giving 9md is a bit different, it gives armor but also it is situational that only triggers below 50 percent hp.

    I didn't mean the dragon killing fang, but the MA aura. I said MA/MD to point out that +9 MA or 9 MD auras have aproximately that value, with some exceptions.
  • Disposable HeroDisposable Hero Registered Users Posts: 5,198
    I think vc have much bigger problems with HE builds that fight back. 😉
  • Disposable HeroDisposable Hero Registered Users Posts: 5,198
    Just to throw some gasoline on that one, what you say about the resist stack build would be very true if we nerf our favourite sems more though because counters to autoplaying resist box is breaths, motis, cycle charging with chariots and dragon, as well as wind/vortices. 😬
  • wingren013wingren013 Registered Users Posts: 1,006
    edited June 28
    While this point is interesting, there are some issues.

    I'm going to point out that you can't really compare melee to ranged 1:1. Ranged units have a much higher dps than melee units. So a small bonus percentwise is a substantial actual increase in dps.

    Also melee attack buffs need to be more efficient than weapon damage buffs. Buffing weapon damage will always help while buffing melee attack has diminishing returns and can even do nothing. If weapon damage buffs had the same efficiency as melee attack buffs then they would be straight up superior.

    Armor buffs also work vs ranged attacks and some spells. Melee defense also has diminishing a returns and a cap too. While armor theoretically has a cap for effectivenss, you will never reach it. So again, melee defense buffs need to more efficient than armor buffs. But this one is less clear cut and armor buffs could possibly use some fine tuning.

    You are completely right on the charge bonus auras though. Those are a joke.
    Post edited by wingren013 on
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