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 Post subject: Re: Balance
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:09 pm 
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The balance patch has now also been released on the PS3! So now the PS3 once again has the same balance settings as the PC! 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: Balance
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:29 am 
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Woohoo!!! Been waiting for a while


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 Post subject: Re: Balance
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:44 pm 
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hekifson wrote:
I used the axe thrower + lightning bolt strat, that is working so well against the ZM rushes.

But, I can't seem to finish them mid game. If I let the chinese get to late game, I just get hit by a dragon, and a dragon that late hurts my econ way too much and it's impossible to recover from.

How do you defeat the chinese mid / late game?

:monkey: Chinese is not defeatable in late game with not only dragon buy also invulnerable + arrow rain + rocketeers. Try to store as much mana as possible and kill more than 5 opponent's workers at once - that's huge chance. For late game, only catapult + freeze can help.


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 Post subject: Re: Balance
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:56 am 
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Yeah chinese are still the strongest race, I think its just dragon though because nothing was done about it.

I haven't played a lot lately because there's not a lot of players online these days but from the few games I've played with AvC if you know the match up you can still win.


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 Post subject: Re: Balance
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:22 pm 
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Hello. I have played around 300 games, as aztec, in the last week.

And while i win more often than i lose, i have the feeling, being aztec, against good chinese- and viking-players is mostly an uphill battle. The longer the games lasts, the higher my chance to lose.

They both seem to have more cost-effective units(as an example: a beserker appears in a standard combat situation TWICE AS STRONG as a jaguar warrior, while only costing 30% more in gold - swordmen are also alot stronger than jaguar warriors, while costing the same) AND have a much better way to trade their gold for mana AND have more reliable ultra-spells.

I find it very disturbing how a good viking player is able to fend off a constant spam of jaguar warriors und dartblowers(which cost 90 together) just by massing their axethrowers(which come for 50). This saves them a whopping 40g per unit-interval - free to spend on teching/creating a tower, to counter the aztecs counter measures. Often they are even able to attack with that build - if the aztec not ve(eee)ry careful on how to use poisonbombs or traps.

Anyway:

I think both jaguar warriors and sungiants(just compare them to catapults: once a catapult is on the field, an aztec really has to do something about it or he is going to lose for sure, as it's literally going to "pwn" every unit he has to offer) have to have more hp.

Increase the hp of the warrior by 10, on the giant by 50 and see how this is going to work.


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 Post subject: Re: Balance
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:17 pm 
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The point of all this is to explain how relatively weak aztecs already might appear, when just comparing some numbers and experiences on paper.


I'll start with some basic comparison and balance thoughts on some of the spells each race has to offer. I took my information from the encyclopedia found in this forum and of course from my experiences in the game so far.

The Cage Trap compared to Rage, Heal, Thunder Bolt, Terracotta Warriors and Magic Shield:

The Cage Trap basically pins one enemy for some time for 45 mana, you have to have an other unit to kill the victim, but the enemy is able to free the pin. This spell is extremly costly for what it does, especially in the later stages of the game where units are never alone. You have to pay alot attention in order to make it work in a decend way and it even has a cooldown of !!10 sec!!. Don't get my wrong this skill surely has it's uses, but they are seldom.(Like trapping a mindcontrolled Sungiant)

Now let's take a look on Thunder Bolt. Sure it's "only" 70 damage, but hey, one bolt kills Jaguar Warriors, Dartmen and Peons instantly(you don't have to have an other unit around, you don't have to pay attention when and which unit to bolt), and, due it's very low cooldown of !!1 sec!!, it's so spameable that even a Sungiant falls fast. This skill is very easy to use, versatile and therefore largely superior to Cage Trap in most situations. Still this skill seems balanced.

Next in line: Rage

This spells comes at a suprisingly low cost of 30 mana, propels your units big time, rallies them AND even does 20 damage per unit in the cloud AND sends enemies flying AND makes your units dodge Aoe Spells while being in the cloud. I guess the average of units in the cloud when hitting the enemy is 5, therefore creating !!100 DAMAGE ON MULTIPLE ENEMIES!! This spells seems ridicously powerful not only when compared to Cage Trap. I guess that's the reason an expierenced Viking almost never bothers to use Heal.

Terracotta Warriors:

This spell stops an impending attack for 7 seconds, can be casted next to specific units of the enemy, does enough damage to kill a single unit and comes at 60 mana. Later in the game this spells can stop a whole army and strengthens the effect of Arrow Rain and Rocketeers. At the start of a game this spell is mostly as strong as Cage Trap, due it's higher mana cost, but later in the game this spell excels Cage Trap by far in usefulness.

Magic Shield is another very useful and balanced skill, which, at the beginning, is mostly as strong as Cage Trap, but is a lot more practical in a progressing game.

Heal:

It heals for 105 damage, comes at 35 mana and has a very low cooldown. This spell stronger than Cage Trap even in the beginning mainly because of it's lower manacost. Later in the game this spell can be used to heal annoying catapults. This balanced spell is used very seldom, as in most situations the other viking-spells have more to over.

Let's talk about Snow Storm, Arrow Rain and Mindcontrol:

At the cost of 60 mana Snow Storm can be used to kill dozens of units at once, when used with Frost Hammers and especially Catapults. For an aztec there is no way to beat this combo, except he is using his Boulder or dares to mindcontrol a Catapult for !!!200 mana!!!. After the mindcontrol the clumsy thing normally is extremly helpless as it's swarmed by enemies and therefore get's destroyed quite fast. So yes: The aztec has to "pay" 200 mana in order to kill a single unit. While one lousy 60-Mana-Snow-Storm is able to kill dozens, when used with units a viking is going to build anyway. Of course a clever aztec might mindcontrol a Beserker for still 90 mana next a catapult instead, but this is harder to do as you might expect, as he's very likely to get killed before he was able to nulify the threat.

Arrow Rain: This spell is also able to kill dozens of units, for 70 mana. 90 damage in total, to all units in an area. Not bad i would say. This skill in combination with Rocketeers, Swordmen, Terracotta Warriors and Magic bests pretty much anything a aztec has to offer. Giants in combination with Jaguar Warriors. Jaguar Warriors, Dartblowers and Necromancers. Giants with Jaguar Warriors and Necromancers. Etc. The aztec is of course using his spells as best as he can.

So the Chinese is basically pushing everything back, except maybe a Boulder, but i get to that later. Yes, i write it again: The Chinese don't has to use his fancy apes or old men, when fighting an Aztec, to counter the "Oh-so-mighty-Sungiants" - all he has to do is to stupidly spam Rocketeers and Swordmen. And beware: If you able to hold yourself because he isn't using Rain of Arrows, his fancy dragon, killing every single fighting unit you have, as well as your peons, is about to pop up. But again, i get back to the ultimates later.

Mindcontrol: Just compare the cost of this spell and it's effects to the skills you just read about. Stangely, this spell works best against other aztecs - mindcontrolling a hostile Sungiant, standing right next to a bunch of his friends, can be gamebraking. I do understand that this skill can be handy and i tend to experiment with this spell alot, but most of the time it appears extremly costly for its potential to affect the outcome of the game.

Thors Hammer, Boulder, Dragon:

Let's compare the manacost of these spells:

Thors Hammer: 250
Dragon: 250
Boulder: 350

Oh? The ultimate which tends to kill the least amounds of hostile units AND damages your own, is the most expensive? Why is that?

This time i have to expand the things i talk about even more. Like the mana-regeneration every faction has to offer.

With the Aztecs the main source to increase your mana is to sacrifice units, which would have died anyway - without causing damage to the enemy. An other way is to trade you units for mana, when you think you need some mana, therefore basically paying gold in order to get mana. The best ratio holds the sacrafice of a Sungiant for 180 gold: 160 mana.

The Viking have to pay 120 gold for their first rune, which increases their regeneration for 2 per seconds. So in a minute, their costs have already redeemed itself. The mana they get from now on is basically free. Normal games between experiences players take around 10 minutes. So if he is able to get for free mana for 7 minutes, this means he had a whopping 840 more in mana to spend. An aztec had to spend more than 900 gold in Sungiants in order to get this...

The Chinese compared to the Vikings have a less effective way of increasing their mana, but their way also serves as a defence structure, therefore making the penalty up somewhat. So often their regeneration is still superior to the Aztecs.

Back to the ultimates: So the faction with the least mana has the worst ultimate AND the most expensive. Very strange.

Now you might think "Perhaps the Aztecs have an advantage with their units, in order to make up for their lack in spellpower and manaregeneration." Well, as far as i can refer to the swords&soldiers-encyclopedia and my experiences: They dont.

In a game where no spells are used: Once both Vikings and Chinese are able to build every unit they have, the Aztec seems to get pushed back. The one "power-unit"(a unit which screws the enemies if he isn't reacting accordingly to it) they have, the necromancer, gets countered quite easy. The Sungiants get so much "owned" by everything, except melee, that, most of the times, the enemy even has not to "react" to them at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Balance
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:55 pm 
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Just a quick question, do the developers still actively balance and update S&S?
By the way, I completely agree with the previous post. Very good post indeed, Alraune.


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 Post subject: Re: Balance
 Post Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:59 am 
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Well, while i think most of what i said is accurate, i'm not sure if my conclusion(Aztecs are to weak) is reasonable. I write that because i figure Mindcontrol or Boulder in combination with Sacrifice might be alot stronger than i think.

Ironically, when i'm playing Chinese, i mostly lose big times to players which seem have a clever way to use mind control.


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 Post subject: Re: Balance
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:43 am 
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Alraune, we played a lot of games last night! I had to switch to Vikings to beat your Chinese, something that makes a hardcore Aztec fan sad. :(

I have come to the conclusion that Dragon is basically unbeatable once it comes out. Losing all your workers instantly is too big a penalty to recover from. To prevent your opponent from teching to Dragon, Aztec has a slippery uphill battle against Chinese, that requires putting on non-stop pressure with Aztec's inferior units. Dartblowers are not worth the investment at all, which leaves you with Jaguarmen only early game unless you go for some sort of early tech. Mind Control is indeed a solid choice and has won me many games, but against Chinese you need to get very lucky (one rocket deflection from a mind controlled Swordsman at the right moment can make or break a game!)


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 Post subject: Re: Balance
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:58 am 
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I haven't had much trouble against vikings as an aztec. Against good chinese players though I have to mirror match them to get some wins. Even when they don't use dragon rocketeer/swordsmen combo is really strong and the more towers they get the more arrows and terracottas you'll see.
But yeah once dragon comes out its game over usually.


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