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Marks of Chaos balance discussion.

There has been some back on forth on the relative balance of the marks of chaos that I've seen of late, with stances ranging from some marks being stronger than others (Khorne and Nurgle having a penalty while Tzeentch and Slaanesh do not) while other folks argue that the mark effects in general are not worth the increased price. I fall somewhere between the two camps, feeling that marks are both unequal and generally overpriced.

It is important to note that this does not mean every marked unit is in need of a buff or underperforming. For one, many marked units received additional changes that resulted in an increased price not impacting performance (see most of the marked marauder horsemen) or an interaction effect between a new change or an old ability significantly enhances the power of the mark (Devoted marauders getting a big health boost and physical resistance or Hellstriders already having a stacking ward save ability which stacks with the physical resist).

To demonstrate this I ran some comparisons between normal WoC marauders, the 4 marked WoC marauders, and the Norscan marauders against a single target (in this case empire swordsmen). I chose the marauders both because they have minimal alterations beyond the listed mark effects, with the extra armor on the khorne marauders being the only exception, and because Rage is a reasonably comparable ability that costs less. If marks are appropriately priced we'd expect that marked marauders would outperform both the WoC and the Norscan marauder units.

I ran three instances of the test to control for RNG variance and the results are as follows.

WoC marauders: Result is a coinflip between swordsmen and WoC marauders winning.
76 to 75 kills, 5640 to 6348 damage, 363 to 339 value.
73 to 72 kills, 5431 to 6351 damage, 350 to 339 value.
72 to 51 kills, 5327 to 4869 damage, 343 to 260 value.

Generally speaking the units trade evenly which is a slight advantage for WoC. Given they're designed to be a superior melee faction this outcome isn't surprising. Average value differential is 39 favoring marauders.

Norscan marauders: Result is very consistent wins for the Norscan marauders. 25 gold gets a scaling boni of physical resist, leadership, and melee attack. It seems to be about 1% per second intensity scaling. At full power 10% physical resist, +8 LD and +5 MA seems comparable in power to some of the mark effects.
78 to 55 kills, 5718 to 5293 damage, 368 to 302 value.
77 to 52 kills, 5724 to 5195 damage, 369 to 296 value.
73 to 51 kills, 5704 to 5006 damage, 367 to 285 value.

We see a pretty big performance jump here, moving from even trading to a significant value advantage for the Norscan marauders in spite of the price increase.

Average value differential is 74 favoring the Norscan marauders. This shows rage is a fairly significant boon costing 25 gold but netting 35 gold in the trade on average.

Khorne marauders: Result is a very consistent win for the Khorne marauders with a notably shorter combat time. Ironically this results in lower kill counts since I stopped the tests when a unit routs. Khorne marauders get +20 armor, frenzy (+10 MA, +3 WS, +2 CB, ITP), 15% SR and -5 MD.
69 to 55 kills, 5320 to 4908 damage, 343 to 297 value.
74 to 48 kills, 5538 to 4541 damage, 357 to 275 value.
72 to 34 kills, 5389 to 3777 damage, 347 to 229 value.

Here we see Khorne marauders gain a slight damage advantage over the Norscan marauders but we noticed a greater variance in damage taken. I suspect this is the result of the higher difference in both MA and MD resulting in a greater number of hits given and taken. When adding armor rolls into the equation the potential variance is a bit higher so even though these guys win at the same rate their cost efficiency is more variable.

The average value differential is 82 favoring the Khorne marauders. While this is slightly higher than the Norscan marauders value differential the difference is much smaller than the jump seen between Norscan marauders and normal marauders. 50 gold nets 43 gold in the trade on average. To me this suggests the mark of Khorne is worth 25 gold at most and an argument could be made that Khorne infantry should overperform above and beyond other melee factions based on their limited range of units and their lack of magic.

Nurgle marauders: Result is a very consistent win for the Nurgle marauders with combat extending a bit longer on average. Nurgle marauders gain +7 HP per entity (+840 hp on ultra), Poison (~1500 HP in practice plus a speed debuff), +5 MD, -5 MA and -5 speed.
69 kills to 36 kills, 5356 to 4249 damage, 345 to 236 value.
74 to 55 kills, 5693 to 5846 damage, 367 to 325 value.
78 to 63 kills, 5728 to 6475 damage, 369 to 360 value.

Here we see the Nurgle marauders have a similarly inconsistent pattern of perform to the Khorne marauders. I believe this is the result of the extended combat time, where slow damage output sometimes results in the swordsmen continuing to fight for longer than would be expected. The Nurgle marauders consistently win and have the potential to lose very few entities in the process but overall their combat performance isn't notably better than any other marauders.

The average value differential is 53 favoring the Nurgle marauders. This is actually worse than the Norscan marauder value differential suggesting the Mark of Nurgle is less valuable than rage on average. It's still a gain compared to the undivided marauders but 50 gold netting 14 gold on average is quite poor.

Slaanesh marauders: Result is a close win for the Slaanesh marauders. Slaanesh marauders gain 10% physical resist, strider, +5 Movespeed, and ITP. A lot of these abilities don't contribute to combat so some of the potential power of the mark is being missed.
75 to 54 kills, 5608 to 5366 damage, 361 to 325 value.
77 to 60 kills, 5763 to 5595 damage, 371 to 339 value.
79 to 61 kills, 5837 to 5554 damage, 376 to 336 value.

I was surprised to see how poorly the Slaanesh marauders fared here. Considering these are essentially a campaign exclusive unit I had little familiarity with them but I anticipated that an effective health increase of 10% would have made the units perform significantly better than the undivided marauders, which the results do not suggest.

The average value differential is 36 which is lower than the normal marauders. An important caveat is that the Slaanesh marauders do consistently win the engagement, with the relative weakness in performance coming entirely from the 50 price increase. Still paying 50 gold to lose 3 gold on a trade is noteworthy in how poor of a result it is.

Tzeentch marauders: Result is a close win for the Tzeentch marauders. Tzeentch marauders gain 5 barrier per entity (600 on ultra) and magic attacks. Again this test does not allow for barrier regeneration or magical attacks to contribute so some potential power of the mark is being missed.
78 kills to 57, 5673 to 5350 damage, 365 to 324 value.
72 to 59 kills, 5631 to 5474 damage, 363 to 331 value.
79 to 54 kills, 5775 to 5411 damage, 372 to 328 value.

After observing the Slaanesh marauders I had very low hopes for the Tzeentch marauders and the results reflected that. It turns out getting less defensive stats than either the Slaanesh or Nurgle mark results in fairly poor performance.

The average value differential is 39 which ties with the undivided marauders. Again the Tzeentch marauders do consistently win this fight rather than it being a coinflip which is a significant improvement but in terms of value trading you are paying 50 gold and gaining 0 gold which makes the mark feel like a lousy upgrade. I understand CA's trepidation with shield values (I was personally quite concerned about the impact it would have on Tzeentch mortals) but at values such as 5 per entity (blue horrors are at 8.75 and exalted pinks are at 22.5) the current mark pricing feels quite bad.

TLDR is that marks are at best equal to Rage in terms of increase to combat performance despite costing twice and much, and at least half are very clearly worse. I'll note here that for Norsca as units get more expensive they pay less for rage, with units like horsemasters and marauder chariots literally getting the ability for free. The fact that marked units actually pay more for the same buffs as they get more expensive therefore seems entirely unwarranted and actively detrimental to those units performance.

I think there is a very reasonable case for giving the current mark effects completely costless to most of the units that have them without any significant balance concerns*. Previously Khorne Warriors had Frenzy at no cost and the additions of 10 armor and 15 spell resist (along with some minor MD shuffling) do not seem to justify the increased price. If you rolled back the price while still leaving all of the buffs the warriors received I still think the units would perform at a roughly appropriate level for a melee faction with no spellcasting. The fact that only the monogod factions can field marked units in serious numbers in multiplayer means that superior units would come with either significant limitations in roster, or with the extremely limiting number of slots WoC has for marks currently. I think this would be appropriate asymmetric balancing.

For Nurgle in particular who received no additional effects on any of their marked units I actually think this would be the most appropriate since with no silver linings overpaying for every mortal unit is a pretty significant weakness of the faction. I suspect this is the reason their winrate has remained the lowest of the monogods after Festus was nerfed.

If however the idea of making the mark effects completely costless is too uncomfortable I'd suggest pinning the value at 25 for all marked units that have a WoC analogue, with the exception of marauder horsemen who mostly get significant upgrades to warrant their cost (the nurgle one either need a buff or should get their price cut matching most marked units). While this does not include every unit which received additional hidden effects when marked (such as many of the Slaanesh units receiving devastating flanker) I'd argue the horsemen are the only units performing above their initial cost. As seen with the Slaanesh daemons the impact of devastating flanker has often been overestimated and the inclusion of CB reductions on many of these units I think is an effective enough counterweight to warrant the price reductions.

*One exception I would make to this statement is I still feel the mark of Slaanesh should not provide physical resistance. ITP and strider are both exceptionally valuable traits that are not measured by damage value and the negative impact of physical resistance on the balance of some of Slaanesh's unique units is hard to overstate. Devoted marauders and Hellstriders are extremely offensively oriented units who were previously balanced around weak defenses. Undercutting that is largely why Slaanesh is one of the strongest factions in dom despite having a large number of mediocre to bad units.


  • Black_Phillip#5773Black_Phillip#5773 Registered Users Posts: 928
    Aerocrastic talked about this and his suggestion was Mark of Slaanesh also have an armor penalty and Mark of Tzeentch have a weapon strength penalty. Is that in tabletop?
  • Spellbound1875#4610Spellbound1875#4610 Registered Users Posts: 2,145
    edited October 2022
    No. Marks on table top in 8th edition just gave Frenzy (Khorne), ITP (Slaanesh), Ward Save (Tzeentch), and Poison (Nurgle). Ideas about greater differentiation for warriors of different gods comes largely from fluff, though later GW IP's have run with the idea as its wildly popular.

    As to Aerocrastic's suggestions I currently don't see why Slaanesh and Tzeentch marks need to be penalized in the way described. The marks currently suck across the board so adding downsides out of an interest in symmetry doesn't seem like a productive use of dev time.

    Tzeentch's mark is strong only on a small number of units used in a way that's viewed as abusive in land battles. Outside of infinitely regenerating your shield and cycle charging the impact it has on unit performance is negligible. In dom the factions biggest balance concern is basically lord sniping nastiness but even then their win rate doesn't suggest a solid half of their roster need a WS nerf.

    For Mark of Slaanesh I think rather than nerfing armor (which is a much bigger pain in the butt than it appears based on how CA's tables work) it'd be easier to just remove the physical resistance. Both have the effect of making Slaaneshi units squishier than they are now and this doesn't run into the issue of a near total lack of tabletop support for the idea that Slaanesh units are less armored than their undivided counterparts. Even in fluff there isn't a lot of support for this notion with characters like Sigvald, Vandred, and Styrkarr all wearing full chaos plate. CA's rendition of a Slaanesh Chaos lord in very extravagant fullplate is true to the source material and even in new IPs heavy armor is still common across Slaanesh mortals.

    I do think Slaanesh units being tankier than other gods is both thematically off and a significant balance issue on some of the units that were designed as glass cannons.
    Post edited by Spellbound1875#4610 on
  • sandercohensandercohen Registered Users Posts: 525
    While you write really well I do think that you have a tendency to write lengthy posts, and sometimes stray a bit off topic. Even your TLDR is like five paragraphs long. I think that you can get your points across in a much more concise but equally eloquent manner. Don't view that as an attack or anything, but from my experience people don't read essays on forums that much. Especially when the topic is very specific.

    I also think that you are undervaluing the speed buff that the Slaanesh mark provides as you tend to leave that out of any discussion. +5 is quite considerable on infantry because it means that they can reach capture points faster and also catch-up with routing infantry units since the average speed appears to be around 33, not to mention that in the reverse situation they can outrun chasing infantry units and rally. And the speed buff is not limited to marauders either, it's tied to the mark so all Slaanesh mortals get it.

    I also find your OP and follow up post contradictory. In the former you write that ITP and strider are exceptional traits - and ITP certainly is - yet in the latter you write that the Tzeentch and Slaanesh marks suck across the board. Having unconditional ITP, PR, Strider and speed buff are well worth the extra price you have to pay for the units over undivided chaos ones without there being a malus of one sort or the other. I mean no marauder/chariot/knight/warrior/chosen gets unconditional ITP apart from Slaanesh ones. And ITP does play a massive part in the holding power of a unit, since it's immune to terror-routing as well as the LD debuff effects from both fear and terror.

    As for Tzeentch, I find it a little bit harder to talk about that one. A WS malus sounds reasonable, I do think barrier is more significant than you give it credit for since barrier can eat charges and can then regenerate - doing little health damage - although admittedly this is a much bigger problem in land battles than in domination mode, but we have to consider both when balancing units and mechanics. Totaltavern only has data on domination battles and I'm sure the WR of Tzeentch would be considerably higher if we had data for land battles. Barrier can be outright toxic in LBs.

    For now I will concede that removing PR will suffice, along with cost increases for units like hellstriders. Then we'll see how strong Slaanesh is and if the mark does indeed need a malus of one sort or the other. But 2.3 will be the balancing patch so it looks like we'll have to wait for that first.
  • songoffiresongoffire Registered Users Posts: 231
    edited October 2022
    Thanks for your tests, Iknow that can be time consuming.

    What is your definition of "average value differential" ?
    It would have been simpler if you had introduced some definitions and/or units to better understand your tests.
    For example in your tests : if I average the gold value (damage inflicted) for Norscan marauders I get 368, for WoC I get 352 so difference would be 16 gold.
    After redoing some calculations, I understood that you were just making the difference between the damage inflicted and received but it wasn't obvious by reading it first.

    Ranking of the Marks in your tests gives :

    So you just demonstrated in your tests that the Slaanesh mark was the weakest but advocate for making it again weaker. Simply removing the Physical resist is not the best solution I think. I 'd rather replace it with a more thematic buff.
    I would love some damage reflection (as Azazel ability) but not sure if it could be balanced properly for a unit of 120 entities. Or something similar but in a weaker version of the Rogue idol Rubble and ruin ability which increases the AP damage the more damage the unit takes.

    Unfortunately, the results of your third test for the WoC marauders are also very strange
    72 to 51 kills, 5327 to 4869 damage, 343 to 260 value.

    compared to the 2 others. Maybe when you have a point that deviates strongly from the average you could redo a test.

    Moreover, the prices of mark of Chaos depend on the units tier :
    • Marauders : 50 gold
    • Warriors : 100 gold
    • Chosen : 150 gold
    And this discrepancy cost is the main problem of the system. For marauders, even if the mark is not very worth taking it in all circumstances, you effectively lose 50 gold at worst. For Chosen which as elite units are already not cost-effective you lose 150 gold.
    It does not make any sense as the bonus granted by the Marks are exactly the same for Marauders and Chosen.
    One could argue that the power of the bonus scales with the unit tier, and that is in theory true for Khorne and Nurgle Marks but less obvious on the other marks. However, elite units health do not scale with their cost compared to cheap units (marauders have only 59% less health by entity than Chosen but cost three times less )so there is absolutely no reason to scale the cost of the marks.
    So I would advocate for a fixed price for all marks : 100 gold.
    To compensate for the 50 gold price increase of marked marauders I would also increase the cost of regular marauders by 50. They are too good for their cost and would be better balanced this way.

    Your suggestion to make the Mark free is also good and would be benefitial for Chosen.

    On a side note, all elite units should have their price reduced. It is annoying to see only chaffs in competitive MP.
  • Spellbound1875#4610Spellbound1875#4610 Registered Users Posts: 2,145
    @sandercohen I appreciate the feedback. Part of the issue I find is trying to include information I feel is useful for the argument while also controlling length. Given there are a few nested points here based on the wide range of units in question this one ran a bit long. I do need to stop using "TLDR" as a phrase since the implications never work out well. In this post the goal was to summarize the tests in the spoiler in a single paragraph, with the following points about unit balance being premised on my findings. To be frank I'm not super concerned with everyone reading my posts, I want my argumentation to be solid enough to lead to actionable changes.

    For the speed component of the mark the issue is a lot of the units which receive the full 5 speed boost are actually never seen. Devoted marauders have 3 speed more than undivided marauders and Hellstriders speed is preset. I don't pay much heed to the speed element of the mark because in practice the best units don't even benefit from it. It's theoretically powerful but has 0 impact on actual play at this time.

    To clarify what I mean when I say the marks suck, it is that the marks suck for the price you pay. You can put good abilities on a unit but if the stats aren't appropriate to the cost the unit will not see use. Given how expensive all of the marks are even when the results show a significant effect (such as the mark of Khorne on average improving marauder combat beyond the gain from Rage) the outcome is still insufficient to justify the price and players accurately assess the units are weak.

    Put another way, unconditional ITP is strong on devoted marauders because at 500 you get a strong statline for the price; the "normal" Slaanesh marauders are terrible despite the same features because the unit stats are too weak for the price. The same principle applies to the Chaos Warriors, Chosen, and Chaos Knights. ITP and strider are strong but they aren't worth 50 gold, much less 100 or 150. The chaos units stats are still set for a substantially lower cost which results in most marked units being objectively poor options. The fact that Slaanesh mortals are intentionally designed to have questionable synergy with ITP (no halberds/anti-large) also does them no favors here. The best use of ITP is in dom where holding points more consistently is powerful but again that only matters because devoted marauders are a strong unit at base.

    My main reason for questioning the need to penalize Tzeentch barrier is that the values for mortals are extremely low. 600-800 on ultra compared to some Daemons having 1800. The only way this makes a meaningful difference in land battles is when people are abusing cycle charging and draw kiting behaviors. Those are banned in competitive settings and they aren't fixable in land battles on ladder short of fully gutting barrier. Adding a WS malus hits a lot of units which are already pretty weak and does little to address impact damage, which is the primary way cycle charging deals damage if you're abusing barrier. It's both ineffective and it attempts to address a problem with the gamemode in a way that won't work.
  • Spellbound1875#4610Spellbound1875#4610 Registered Users Posts: 2,145
    @songoffire Good points. To be honest I accidentally published this post before I'd fully finished it and I didn't want to deal with the potential for it disappearing for approval if I touched it. Not my finest moment.

    My main reason for wanting to make the mark of Slaanesh weaker is because I feel that if we set the marked units to the same price as the undivided units (or merely 25 more expensive) most of the Slaanesh units player's bring would be more healthily balanced. Marauders of Slaanesh aren't a real unit, only WoC can bring them and no player would ever choose to do so in a serious game. The units which actually get brought (Devoted marauders and Hellstriders) are already overperforming and have some pretty toxic interactions with the extra survivability provided by the physical resistance. Beyond that Forsaken, Chariots, and Chaos Knights recieved some extra unlisted bells and whistles which I think at no cost when combined with PR, ITP, and Strider would be a bit much. For Slaanesh Chaos Warriors and Chosen if they're broadly speaking no worse than the undivided ones there isn't a balance issue since you aren't taxed for the unit.

    Also and I can't state this enough, I think the inclusive of a defensive attribute on a mobility buff is toxic to the initial design of most of the Slaanesh units. Taking away the glass part of the cannon leads to people wanted to remove the interesting elements of units such as BvI and BvL. The harm to the broader faction design and balance that adding physical resist to mortals inflicted is quite large even if many of the units who received the effect are never picked competitively.

    For the outlier test on the marauders I included it simply because variance in RNG dependent conflicts is fairly common. Even if I replaced it with a more standard result the overall analysis remains unchanged so I felt keeping it rather than cherry picking would be appropriate. Even if we picked three tests where the marauders lost (the second example was a loss for reference) the marked chaos marauders would still all be cost ineffective.

    Entirely agree on how this gets more punishing for more elite units and how that's the exact opposite of what those units need. Cutting the price of marked chosen and marked warriors will help create a greater range of variation in these factions builds, as well as help the factions which are struggling a bit see more play (by which I mean nurgle).

    I think standardizing the marks at 100 and nerfing WoC units isn't an ideal approach. WoC have nothing going for them other than slightly overperforming units in their available categories. They lack support abilities, army abilities, or flexible rosters. The mark system doesn't really change that and as such I think nerfing WoC infantry in particular runs the risk of making them generally ineffective. At 425 Chaos Marauders would be terrible given the marked units are strictly speaking better for that price and are overall quite bad.

    The motivation for writing this post was largely frustration at seeing people identify Khorne marauders as underperforming or Khorne Warriors as underperforming and then complaining that the MD penalty is making them bad. Players are misattributing the cause to a minor MD penalty what is actually an issue with increasing the units price by about 1/7th for all infantry and the 1/15th for all cavalry. I want to move the discussion away from whether the marks need a malus or from the relative balance between the mark and instead address the reality that the pricing for marked units is too high for them to be viable relative to their undivided counterparts. If some price increase is deemed absolutely necessary standardize it at 25 for all marked units with a WoC variant (other than the 3 horsemen who received significant additional boons).
  • saweendra#3399saweendra#3399 Registered Users Posts: 19,854
    edited October 2022
    Mark of slaanesh 10% hp nerf for human units.

    Should do the trick.

    Edit same for tzeentch but instead of hp its md

    #givemoreunitsforbrettonia, my bret dlc

  • #210289#210289 Registered Users Posts: 167
    edited October 2022
    Lots of information here

    TL:DR: seems to be 'You typically don't get you pay for with each mark compared to the base variant performance'.

    I think that's particularly noteable for Khorne and Nurgle, but the truth is that slaanesh mark isn't particularly impactful except on already overpowered units like hellstriders, whip striders and devoted marauders.

    Each mark seems to have a synergy with certain types of units, such as tzeench mark on marauder horsemen.

    Khorne Mark:

    Khorne Mark spell resistance is not meaningful at this time

    The problem I see for example with the khorne mark is that the spell resistance is largely negligible at this time.

    To use a different example, when dwarves went from 25% to 35% spell resistance combined with nerfing almost all vortexes from 10 to 8 100% armor piercing per second, (except dwellers, alas!) it meant that an ironbreaker or hammerer unit could survive a pit of shades without losing a single model.

    Khorne needs to reach a similar 'break point' for their spell resistance to be actually meaningful and not just tacked on. If the models are still dying from the vortex spells, then the spell resistance is irrelevant.

    That said, frenzy is actually a quite powerful perk on 'grindy' infantry like khorne warriors, which allows them to trade up into armored units they'd normally lose to. The extra armor also is far more noticeable on chaos warriors than on marauders.

    Nurgle Mark

    Nurgle mark is awful because units are too slow

    Chaos is supposed to be a 'rush' faction by design. Sort of hard to rush when your infantry move significantly more slower and take significantly longer to kill anything without appreciable durability increase versus shooting in comparison The depressing part is that I as a player sort of hope that Nurgle doesn't become meta, because they seem like the next uninteractive vampire count blob waiting to happen

    The only way to realistically fix this mark is to remove the speed debuff, like what they did with plaguebearers going up to 28 speed.

    Tzeench Mark

    Tzeench mark is too expensive on units that can't take advantage of mobility to recharge barrier, but overperforms on units that can take advantage of their mobility

    Also, barrier not having a cap is oppressive as hell.

    Tzeench mark needs a barrier, and providing on contact Warpflame! or a similar mini-armor sunder could be a way to buff the melee infantry units. Alternatively, the slow moving melee infantry units just need to be a little cheaper.

    Slaanesh Mark

    Slaanesh mark is only really good on slaanesh specific units that are often broken for other reasons entirely

    It's absurd on their dedicated marauderes, absurd on hell striders and whip-striders, and makes sigvald even more ridiculously hard to kill.

    But when applied to just ordinary chaos knights, warriors, or marauders? It's not all that much to write home about. That said, it's the best mark overall by a significant margin simply because it has no wasted values. It can just be overpriced.

    Confusingly slaanesh marked marauder horsemen have magical attacks as well, so it's good on them in niche circumstances. Would make more sense if they had something like armor piercing to differentiate them from Tzeench. This might also unfortunately make them terribly overpowered though, so i'm sort of relieved they do not have it.

    TL:DR: Mark gold prices in multiplayer often make very little sense compared to what they provide. Particularly khorne and nurgle ones.
  • Spellbound1875#4610Spellbound1875#4610 Registered Users Posts: 2,145
    @Dagonlives While I don't strictly disagree with any of your commentary on the marks I do feel the need to stress that in a test which was focused purely on their melee stats sidestepping the risk of magic, speed issues, etc. all of the marks underperformed their cost. I'm not confident that buffing these secondary elements of the units would be sufficient to overcome the initial penalty of an increased cost.

    Khorne Marauders, Warriors, and Chosen with 35% spell resist (which would be an extreme value when compared to other units on the roster) would still underperform when compared to undivided units simply because they're quite a bit more expensive.

    Nurgle infantry being faster won't make their combat trading suddenly between 50 and 150 value better.

    Additional tweaks to the marks are reasonable suggestions (I clearly have my own opinions on the matter) but without addressing the pricing issue these units will still underperform.

    While this is harder to substantiate I'd argue that the extremely limited adoption of many of the marked units, and the generally meh performance of the monogod factions with less access to uniquely balanced units, are both explained largely by the vast majority of marked units being overpriced. Nurgle is the poster child for this but Khorne and Tzeentch were last patch being propped up by the bugged marauder horsemen quite heavily. While both have received some buffs to their unique mortal units that will likely help them remain competitive when looking at their shared units we largely see inefficient performances.

    Given the above points I think price cuts should be a first line approach when looking at shared units like marauders and chaos warriors. Uniquely balanced units obviously require a different approach since they aren't "modified" in the same way by the mark system.

    The only reason I single Slaanesh out from this approach is because every broken unit falls into the "uniquely balanced" category, being devoted marauders and hellstriders, both of whom have nasty synergies with physical resistance in particular. Trying to balance those units without addressing their stats directly harms Slaanesh's roster design. Already Slaanesh has the most expensive chaff units out of all of the monogods at 500 across the board and Hellstriders going about 700 runs into a glut of units hovering around 1000 gold on the Slaanesh roster. Continuing to hike the price just removes all of Slaanesh's cheap options which is both thematically confusing (slaanesh is literally the marauder chaos god looking at unique units) and also creates some serious functional issues with the factions army building.
  • yst#1879yst#1879 Registered Users Posts: 10,003
    edited October 2022
    Not much to discuss really, one of the things CA did perfectly as good as it can get.

    U can play with chaos and a lot of times u pick one of the 4 marks depending on situation and none surpass the other

    They r of coz certain marks on certain unit getting quite absurd value but it looks like it’s heavily tailored on the faction itself.

    Like spawn alone u get additional special traits in addition to the mark
    Top #3 Leaderboard on Warhammer Totalwar.
  • Spellbound1875#4610Spellbound1875#4610 Registered Users Posts: 2,145
    The fact that Spawn all have additional special traits the predate the mark effects suggest the mark effects are in fact not balanced against each other. The Khorne Spawn literally got buffed this patch because CA felt they were underperforming.

    I'd also question the idea that WoC has much incentive to pick marked units beyond the obviously overperforming. Most warriors are a downgrade costwise making the extremely limited cap system feel redundant.

    Pre 2.0 units were designed and balanced individually and, apart from some of the very expensive units being out of the meta, unit balance wasn't viewed as problematic. It's only after units were rebalanced with the new mark system that players started to identify disparities in unit performance, with most marked units being disappointing.

    This seems quite far off from "as good as it can get" and I'd argue it was a direct setp back from the older balance approach. Trying to treat the marks as upgrades (with an assumed cost) rather than adaptations has resulted in most marked units being overpriced for what you get, and a few units being overtuned because CA didn't take into account the original trade offs in the units design.
  • eumaies#1128eumaies#1128 Registered Users Posts: 9,558
    i agree in broad strokes the marks are poorly costed; doesn't lead me to want to make them free - just more fairly and evenly priced across the factions :). Especially for cheap maurader infantry that suffer more from a flat cost increase.
  • Spellbound1875#4610Spellbound1875#4610 Registered Users Posts: 2,145
    Certainly a fair stance to take. I do think there is an equally strong argument for a more conservative buff than simply matching the undivided unit prices. As far as I'm concerned the only incorrect stance is arguing that the current mark effects are priced appropriately on shared units, sans some horsemen.

    This is a living game and if CA takes a conservative approach here it can be adjusted later. While I favor price cuts, modifications to improve performance (like the kh, tz, and sl horsemen) would also be an option.
  • songoffiresongoffire Registered Users Posts: 231
    Also and I can't state this enough, I think the inclusive of a defensive attribute on a mobility buff is toxic to the initial design of most of the Slaanesh units. Taking away the glass part of the cannon leads to people wanted to remove the interesting elements of units such as BvI and BvL. The harm to the broader faction design and balance that adding physical resist to mortals inflicted is quite large even if many of the units who received the effect are never picked competitively.

    Actually, I understand why you advocate to nerf Slaanesh Mark. Your argument rests upon two elements :
    1. Devoted marauders and Hellstriders with mark of Slaanesh are too strong
    2. The Physical resist is anti-thematic of the faction design
    For your first point, it has nothing to do with the mark but rather that these two units overperform. So the solution is simple instead of nerfing the mark which will make other Slaanesh units suffer from, it is enough to nerf the melee stats of the devoted marauders and hellstriders.
    For your second point, I agree.

    But, I also did some tests with Chaos Warriors units. And I can confirm (as you demonstrated with marauders) that the Slaanesh and Tzeentch Mark seem weaker thant the 2 others.

    3 tests in glacier Lake without lord vs saurus warriors with shield (800 gold), I averaged the results :
    1. Nurgle Chaos warriors vs saurus : 2W/1D for Nurgle and 728 damage inflicted in average (79 kills) and 696 received
    2. Slaanesh Chaos warriors vs saurus : 3D (they never beat the saurus), 649 damage inflicted (68 kills) and 775 received
    3. Khorne Chaos warriors vs saurus : 2W/1D for Khorne, 717 damage inflicted (79 kills) and 681 received
    4. Tzeentch Chaos warriors vs saurus : 3D (they never beat the saurus), 643 damage inflicted (63 kills) and 778 damage received
    Results are clear enough. Only Nurgle and Khorne warriors were able to beat the saurus warriors. Khorne should win almost every time with a lord behind providing a leadership boost and thus a longer duration of Frenzy.
    So as I said just removing the physical resist of the Slaanesh mark is not a good idea. They already perform below Nurgle and Khorne Marks. Sure iTP and strider are good but circumstancial.
    As for Tzeentch Mark, I think barrier can be slightly increased by 10%.
  • Bastilean#7242Bastilean#7242 Registered Users Posts: 2,952
    Change Nurgle mark and Slaanesh mark speed adjustments into percentages.
  • Spellbound1875#4610Spellbound1875#4610 Registered Users Posts: 2,145
    @songoffire It is a solid point that nerfing the entire mark for two units is potentially harmful. Devoted marauders I think could be fairly easily nerfed by reverting the buffs the units received in 2.0. You could try and cut the health of hellstriders but I do think the ability to stack ward save and physical resist is inherently problematic. Also CA hasn't seemed interested in rolling back the 2.0 changes even when it's made units comically OP so that influenced some of my suggestions.

    I do think this test further highlights that for 100 gold hike does not translate to a notable performance gain. Even if the Tzeentch barrier is increased in the manner you suggest it'll still put them behind the undivided units in cost efficiency. Honestly at this point it's probably more useful to just advocate for price cuts to these marked variant units first and foremost, then worry about mark balance after you aren't screwed for playing the monogod factions.

    Obviously balance the unique units separately as needed but for the vast majority of the marked ones testing consistently shows they aren't worth the price hike. The fact that the monogods perform significantly worse than the monogod factions is at least partially explained by most of their units just being overpriced.

    @Bastilean#7242 Why?
  • Slayer_Yannir#8069Slayer_Yannir#8069 Registered Users Posts: 2,771
    I don't think measuring Barrier by per entity is a good practice since that's not how Barrier works. If it worked per entity, units would start to take hp damage before the entire Barrier is spent. Like, if you take a charge with an infantry unit, only about 20 to 30 from a 100 or so dudes are in melee contact. If Barrier was per entity, they'd start taking hp damage when about 20-30% Barrier is spent. But Barrier needs to be 100% spent before a unit starts taking hp damage. Which means Barrier is a flat amount per unit, not per entity.
    Formerly known as Yannir. Oaths have been taken.
  • Spellbound1875#4610Spellbound1875#4610 Registered Users Posts: 2,145

    I don't think measuring Barrier by per entity is a good practice since that's not how Barrier works. If it worked per entity, units would start to take hp damage before the entire Barrier is spent. Like, if you take a charge with an infantry unit, only about 20 to 30 from a 100 or so dudes are in melee contact. If Barrier was per entity, they'd start taking hp damage when about 20-30% Barrier is spent. But Barrier needs to be 100% spent before a unit starts taking hp damage. Which means Barrier is a flat amount per unit, not per entity.

    Fair point about the mechanic, the decision to divide barrier by entities is more to demonstrate that the barrier values gained are quite small for the mortal units, and for the mortal infantry in particular they are so small as to be near inconsequential. Doom knights and Furies getting the same 600 barrier as the marauders is a very different level of power for example, yet marauders are the only unit that's charged such a high fee for the privilege of the mark.

    Doom knights even received a 100 gold price cut after receiving buffs from the 2.0 changes adding magic attacks and increasing their armor, so small barriers clearly aren't particularly powerful even on a unit with a more optimal attributes to take advantage of the barrier (though doom knight mass is probably a significant factor depressing their usability). Horsemen are the only unit I'd label as clearly an exception to this rule, and they both receive extra abilities beyond the mark and are arguably overperforming for their price in the unmarked state.

    The issue isn't specifically the functionality of barrier, just noting that for what you receive the cost hike is excessive in the case of most marked units. Daemons get more than twice the barrier and unless we view daemonic instability as a huge negative they get a much better deal cost wise on accessing barrier than the mortal infantry. Even the Tzeentch Forsaken at this point I'd argue are overcharged for the mark effect since and they're the best of the mortal infantry bunch (notably the 850 price tag was originally covering a 40% spell resist which has been lost).
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