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 Questions about some units

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Rodmar18
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PostSubject: Questions about some units   Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:36 am

Hello,
I have some questions about a few units, about what they become in TPC. It's mostly because what I tried on my personal mod of the vanilla game did not quite satisfy me, and if a public version of it should be released, I'd have those units be rather as much close to their TPC alter egos as possible, than the other way.

More than balancing considerations, I think it's about what those units are for, and what we would like them to be.

The Slayer Knight (formerly, the Dark Rider)

I read that they no longer have their bonus against heroes. Is it planed that they benefit from a new ability in order to match with their new name? Back to Warlords IV, the "Shadow Knight" (as it translates into French, at least) do have magical, or magic-like, abilities (like just any other unit in this game), that are to dispel the magic. In Age of Wonders 2, Dark Elven cavalry have a magical sword that has a better chance to  hit and drains life like vampirism. So in what are they "slayers" now?

Other abilities to be more resilient or more useful could be:

  • Phantom steed as a unit spell, only an on-self version of it like the Blackguard's invisibility.
  • Shroud of Darkness could be a passive power that removes one vision range every N Slayer Knight present on the map, or rather counters the vision upgrades and True Sight spell effects (the enemy units would thus keep their natural vision range, and only the upgrades would be impacted).



The Spider Priestess

My concern with them is that they have quasi the same stats as the sorcerors (they have +1 Combat), except they don't share their vulnerability to physical damage, and they have a range of 4 instead of sorceror's 6. Granted, they cost no the same, and they can summon queen spiders. You might see them as early tower feeders, and front line support units (what else with a 4-ranged lightning attack?). However, they are more like nasty suicide units for me, and when the gold income becomes steady, thanks to the assassins, sorcerors are cheaper to put inside towers, and deadlier as short range defence units (screened by other infantry) thanks to their Pillar of fire spell (notwithstanding their vulnerability to physical damage). Moreover, assassins make better infantry than spiders in tower, being advanced units.

I read that they could cast a unit spell like Poison Cloud or Web (Entangle)...
Still, Spider Priestesses could be better than what they are when dealing with enemy infantry, that is, more resilient when the spiders are bypassed or slain. I don't know how what slight bonus is needed. +1 Combat, +2 Speed, +1 Armor, removed missile tag? Turning them into real devil battle sorcerors, able to roam the map along with their pets?

The idea is that when alone, they should have a better chance against most level 1 infantry up to 1 vs 3: more agile, protected with spider skin...
As for the sorcerors, they could be made a little more frail in comparison, good enough to man towers, cast their spells, or shoot lightnings from behind a decent front line.

The mounted Knights (Knight Errant, Champion, Paladin)

The TPC has this corrected that they don't deal the same type of damage anymore. This was a necessity to ensure the three units keep being useful until the end of game. Paladin are granted an electrical, melee attack, just like the Inquisitor, their general.

I tested this (just playing around), plus granting the Champion a crushing attack (a mace), and the Knight Errant a piercing attack (a stabbing sword, or a lance).
What happens is that the Champions are now like fast catapults, except that they have a range of 0 and no splash damage. They ruin buildings in no time (except when pitted against Daemon towers, as well as upgraded Minotaur, Undead, and Dwarven ones). Paladin are as potent as them against buildings (except  High and Dark Elven, and Undead towers). Sending a handful of them in an enemy base is sure to cause havoc.
I don't know if TPC plans to tune the units vs. buildings combat, but in vanilla game, even with the higher buildings' defense ( in v1.03.25), upgraded knights are more worthy than siege weapons!
As for Knight Errants, I found the piercing damage satisfactory. They shine against orcs grunts and less so against wights, and this is not illogical. Their new critical is handy in 1 vs 1 duelling. After all, knights should know how to fight armoured opponents.

On top of this, mounted knights can be upgraded to deal double damage, and then, triple damage against piercing-, slashing-, and/or crushing-resistant Undead.

I feel like the choice for damage type should answer the question: what this unit is made for?

  • piercing damage is good against orcish grunts, not good against  undead infantry, poor against buildings, and good against well armoured, single foes;
  • crushing damage is powerful against buildings, and good against high combat, single foes;
  • slashing is poor against a number of undead infantry, and snakemen, but the cleave effect allows for dispatching masses of foes;
  • electricity is good against anything, except highly resistant units such as many "monstrous" units and spell casters (except that it can drain their mana). The Knights have already a powerful lightning bearer, the Inquisitor, although it's produced slowly. Should the Paladin be a like mounted Inquisitor?

Now, if we compare the Champion to the Paladin, we could ask which one should be best designed to oppose single foes, and which one should be best designed to be sent into the fray (if we want to have different roles).

So, I will test the following:

  • Knight Errant gets a piercing attack: they can't rush buildings (including mines) so easily, even if massed, and they may eventually deal a lucky strike that dispatches the enemy, one by one, even those nasty pikemen, if they strike first ("Charge!"). Let's not forget that they have a decent vision range (for what it's worth), and are faster than the other mounted knights.
  • Champion gets a slashing attack back: they won't be able to destroy whole bases alone, and their critical is useful against a horde of enemies. They don't shine in 1 vs 1 duelling anymore though. Let's say that they are the main battle tank.
  • Paladin gets a crushing attack: alright, this makes them OP against buildings, but they are costly and arrive rather late in game; they should shine against single, high level foes thanks to their critical, and when upgraded, kill them in two or three lucky strikes, or giving a huge advantage to other knights around.
  • Inquisitor remains the only "witch hunter", with its spell, its Smite Evil ability, and its disruptive critical attack.




Your advice and thoughts are needed! (That's the kind of answer I'm waiting for)
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