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In 40k 9th ed, GW will apparently cap hit roll modifiers at +1/-1, which prevents units from stacking too many hit roll modifiers up at once.
Which got me thinking that this game really needs a helping of that too. Right now you can stack buffs nearly endlessly on top of each other and thanks to the lightning quick pacing of this game, this gets out of hand really fast. Units can become completely unrecognizable, like Grom's infamous Chosen-level Goblins who nonetheless retain their cheap price or even get cheaper since upkeep reductions exist a plenty as well and income explodes only a few dozen turns into the campaign. Mechanics quickly cease mattering entirely, like PO or growth. Losing units or entire armies becomes irrelevant thanks to replenishment and recruitment buffs and that all together just turns the campaign into a flashy MOBA where you just push against the AI's endless stream of armies with your own unlimited soldiers. Strategy is no longer required because it's just a frontal grind. As a result the lategame becomes very boring and tedious.
So why not reduce the effectiveness of all the myriad buffs you receive over the course of the campaign? Caps can be applied in different way:
1.a strict numeric or procentual cap, like "stat X cannot be raised beyond Y (or at all) or only be buffed by Z% of its starting value" 2.only the strongest buff applies. If you have a +5 and a +2 buff, only the former applies and the latter is discarded. Buffs of equal strength are only applied once 3.diminishing returns. Only the strongest cap is applied in full, any of the following buffs are reduced in effectiveness down to a minimum
When it comes to unit buffs for example, I would simply go with the first. A goblin unit should always be a goblin unit. It should not become a tiny, green unit of long-nosed Chaos Warriors. At the same time, I'd also lower the percentage cap the higher the base stat is, so higher tiered units would not receive buffs of the same strength simply because they already have higher stats.
For campaign related buffs, economic buffs for example coming from lord skills or traits should not be cumulative, especially global ones and if there are two or more heroes standing in the same province, only the strongest bonus should be applied.
Replenishment and recruitment should be stronger related to the race you are playing with elder races having lower caps to recruitment and replenishment than swarm races.
As an alternative to caps (or complimenting them), certain processes like research and character levelling could simply be slowed down. Research does barely anything else but unlock plain buffs and levelling is completely linear and wholly dependent on the kind of victory you earn or hero action you do, not on what enemies you fight (hence why sacking the same minor settlement over and over is so effective). So, like this:
-research should be slowed down. Somewhere between 50-100% at least -XP requirements for levelling should not only increase every level, XP rewards should be dependent on what kind of army you fight. A battered T1 garrison should not net the same XP as a doomstack. I would even make it so that fighting more than one army at once nets a bonus and using lightning strike or ambush reduces the gain. Simply because taking higher risks should be rewarded and chickening out punished
Ideally, I would like if CA added a pacing slider at the start of the campaign that influenced the average speed of levelling, research, trait gain, replenishment and the like.
But I don't think the game should stay as it is, no matter what CA chooses to do.