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  #11  
Old September 18th, 2010, 09:13 PM

Knai Knai is offline
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Default Re: Better Know a Pretender: The Green Dragon

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Originally Posted by thejeff View Post
I don't see that as the problem with PD. At least in MP.

It's not that some nations have really good PD and some really bad PD, compensating for other strengths and weaknesses. It's that spme nations have mostly useless PD and some have completely useless PD. To the point that the common advice in MP games is not to waste money on more than a couple points of PD. Enough to stop the weakest raiders, Call of the Winds or the like.

More than that, even for the good PD nations, and it still just gets killed by a raiding thug and your investment is lost.
So PD, which is a theoretically cool feature, really isn't used.

If anything an overall boost in PD is needed, not a better balancing of the different nations PD.

That would be problematic for SP though, where it's already fairly common to buy a ton of PD in chokepoints for the AI to beat itself against.
But this is just a symptom of the magic system being critical, and rending magic as less powerful removes some of the draw from the game. SCs can do what they do because of spells and magic items, raw stats only go so far, and while Fear, Awe, Blood Vengeance, and natural regeneration extend it dramatically, it is the spells that truly make it powerful.

Take the Harbinger. It is a respectable SC in the mid game, and relies heavily on a few spells. Mistform is by far the most important, but Blessing usually helps quite a bit as well, and there are methods of Harbinger use that also take advantage of Shock Wave.

Then there are the big battlefield spells. Flaming Arrows, Wind Guide, and Darkness are probably the biggest ones here, and they turn a fight to a huge extent, then there are counters to them. Giving PD access to these would make things much less strategic, and allocating gems to PD is more micromanagement nobody wants to deal with.
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  #12  
Old September 18th, 2010, 09:37 PM

thejeff thejeff is offline
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Default Re: Better Know a Pretender: The Green Dragon

Sure, PD's never going to stand up to a determined attack. Big battlefield spells aren't in question.
Even Harbingers are pretty high-end thugs. Close to SCs if geared right. As they should be. They're a 6th level summon that costs 25 gems + gear. Though I've lost them to regular troops. If the mistform goes, they're dead. With enough troops someone will land that lucky shot.

But I'm really talking about the cheap thugs. Black Servants, Sleepers, Banes. Black Knights or similar mounted commanders. Sacred mages who can teleport and cast a few buffs. All with not much more than a Brand and a shield.
Any of these will take low level PD with little trouble, but might have trouble with larger numbers. Even without specific magic counters.

But since PD gets dramatically more expensive and can still be beaten by a mid-level thug: Harbinger, Bane Lord, sacred thugs etc, there's little incentive to buy more than the bare minimum.

Maybe enough to stop random events, if you've got good PD units.
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  #13  
Old September 19th, 2010, 01:05 AM
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Default Re: Better Know a Pretender: The Green Dragon

While we're daydreaming, the idea of adding gems to PD is a rather intriguing one. You could set it up as straightforwardly as current PD = 10 gems of a given single type give you 10x units for that Nation, with maybe 2 gem types allowed per Nation.

Mythologically speaking, there's plenty of references to draw from this. Various warding spells, guardian creatures. Gargoyles, Terra-cotta armies. All sorts of things, from all sorts of myths, worldwide. So, it should fit into the game without much disruption of flavour.

It's a little more micro, but not a devastating amount (2 easy-to-use systems, rather than one easy-to-use system), and would give you a much broader spectrum of options.

PD itself, in it's current "gold = PD" form, could be made more interesting simply by expanding the existing system of adding additional commanders and unit types, once milestones (1+, 20+) are met. Perhaps 2 new unit types and 1 new commander every 20 points past the first 20? That wouldn't be too complicated to understand, wouldn't require too much of a change in gameplay, and wouldn't require any more micro than we've already got.
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  #14  
Old September 19th, 2010, 09:56 AM

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Default Re: Better Know a Pretender: The Green Dragon

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Or, option 2, you could learn to use armies. Just a thought.
Quote:
The two have little to do with each other. You might as well suggest we all learn to navigate our aircraft carriers better, instead of maintaining roads.
Your ability to utilize your armies (one of two forms of defense) and your use of PD (your other form of defense) are of course related. The more effective one is in your hands, the less reliant you are on the other.

To say that your two forms of defense, being inextricably linked in their dualistic nature (big words, booyakasha!) "have little to do with each other" is ... well, wrong. You should add sophistry to your study list.

Let's see what other gifts of silliness you're giving to us inexperienced players. It's like Christmas every day!

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PD is separate from mobile armies. That should be obvious to everyone.
Uh huh.

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There's no reason that it can't be made more useful and interesting, without somehow taking away from "using armies".
(Screeching tires and accident noises. Maybe DJ-style record scratch/needle jump) Hm. Let's talk about this with some numbers. I like numbers. In addition to adding numbers, we're going to stop using the word "army". In this context it's incredibly misleading as what you really mean is 'mobile force'. Let's create a scale of strength and label it 1-10. 1 will be a single indie commander, and 10 will be a nearly mythical late game army comprised of hundreds of battle mages, thousands of troops, supporting thugs/scs/ etc. PD in its current form can, with a reasonable degree of economy, stop force levels 1 to, let's say 3. If you make PD more effective, it'll be able to stop, with a reasonable degree of economy, up to let's say 5.

If you eliminate the viability of certain force levels, you "[take] away" from the depth of mobile forces, necessarily limiting strategic options.

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The way I see PD working is akin to adding infrastructure: You build it up from nothing, and as you do, more people settle there, more business is done, your workshops are more productive, your smiths and craftsmen more skilled. You attract the richer merchants and the famous bards. You also probably attract more crime.

The end result is a functioning defensive force, created by your people living there, out of a desire to protect themselves and maintain the peace, but it comes about from a lot of hidden factors that might be represented by 20+ buildings in a Civilization-type game, but that in Dom3 is refined and distilled down to a single number.
The way you see PD working is immaterial to the argument. 'nuff said.

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People didn't stop "using armies" once they learned to build castles or create an effective police force. That doesn't make fortifications or military police any less important.
Straw man. Again, back to sophistry school with you.

Please remember to phrase your arguments with relation to the competitive game we're discussing. Your pseudo-historical references and theorizing about the nature of PD just don't matter in this context. Cease and desist, yo.


In the end, here's what's going on: as humans, we like win. As such, we like to modify the rules of competition to better suit us as individuals. This is fine and natural. Howeva. You're attempting to pull the balance away from the diversity and complexity that gives rise to strategic options, which then in turn serves to delineate skill levels. Every competitive MP community I've ever been in has people like you. People who want the game to be simpler and easier so that they don't suck quite as hard. These people are called 'scrubs'.

To summarize your response:
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My name in Inigo Montoya. You killed my argument. Prepare to die.
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  #15  
Old September 19th, 2010, 10:23 AM

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Default Re: Better Know a Pretender: The Green Dragon

Of course by that argument, having PD at all eliminates the viability of certain force levels, levels 1-3, thus limiting strategic options.
Therefore PD should be removed from the game. Anyone who doesn't agree just wants the game to be simpler and easier so that they don't suck as hard.

One could also argue that PD is itself a strategic option and thus increases the the diversity and complexity of the game. Making it more viable would then add to to your options. You would have to choose between building static defenses and mobile forces rather than just putting a point into PD to stop scouts and investing everything else in "mobile forces"

Or to put it even more simply, mobile forces are not the only thing that gives rise to strategic options. Static defenses, represented in this game by forts and PD, can also increase your strategic options.
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  #16  
Old September 19th, 2010, 10:39 AM

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Default Re: Better Know a Pretender: The Green Dragon

Radio Star has a point though. The stronger you make PD, the weaker you make standard troops. And since PD is cheaper than armies, up to a certain point, that makes it a no brainer buy to impede armies. Personally, I think if you make PD too much stronger it will make attacking people much too difficult in a resources/province taken ratio to make attacking worthwhile, and makes huge amounts of PD not only likely, but your best course of action.
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  #17  
Old September 19th, 2010, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Better Know a Pretender: The Green Dragon

I like PD pretty much as it is. I actually don't agree with it being useless. I often buy high PD to combine with mage support at chokepoints for example. Or to force my enemy to spend more gems on his thugs before I kill them. Etc.

My only beef is with the nations that has broken PD that literally kills itself, archers shooting militia in the back etc. Machaka and Caelum come to mind. Those should be tweaked so they at least fight properly, by just having militia OR archers, or by giving them shielded infantry.

And MA tien chi should have stronger PD just for thematic reasons.

Other than that I think it's pretty much fine as it is.
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  #18  
Old September 19th, 2010, 11:34 AM

13lackGu4rd 13lackGu4rd is offline
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Default Re: Better Know a Pretender: The Green Dragon

don't forget Marignon's PD, having crossbows behind various shieldless infantries

but why the sudden discussion on PD? this thread is about the Dragon pretenders, especially the Green Dragon. has nothing to do with PD whatsoever...
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  #19  
Old September 19th, 2010, 12:03 PM

Radio_Star Radio_Star is offline
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Default Re: Better Know a Pretender: The Green Dragon

Quote:
Originally Posted by thejeff View Post
Of course by that argument, having PD at all eliminates the viability of certain force levels, levels 1-3, thus limiting strategic options.
Therefore PD should be removed from the game. Anyone who doesn't agree just wants the game to be simpler and easier so that they don't suck as hard.
Yup!

Quote:
One could also argue that PD is itself a strategic option and thus increases the the diversity and complexity of the game. Making it more viable would then add to to your options. You would have to choose between building static defenses and mobile forces rather than just putting a point into PD to stop scouts and investing everything else in "mobile forces"
And one would be arguing a straw man again! You could place mobile forces in every province just as you can PD. Here's the deal: PD sacrifices complexity for lower micromanagement. There does come a point of limited returns in that equation. To put it simply for people like Honey Badger, the small amount of skill differentiation (again, that's what competitive gaming is all about) gained by lessening the effectiveness of PD, or simply removing it altogether, would not be worth the resulting headache of small defensive force micromanagement. Those are the terms of debate; the balance of increased micromanagement vs. loss of complexity for the express purpose of creating a competitive environment. Please and I think the balance is just peachy where it's at.

What's that? You want more evidence that PD is perfect where it's at? Okay, consider this: Reasonable amount of PD have trouble stopping any sort of offensive. This makes for complexity. On the other hand, it's just effective enough to make for an interesting tool when combined with intelligently placed mobile forces. PD at its current power level eliminates only the most micro-heavy offensive options while being potent enough to supplement true engagements.

If that aint balance, folks, I don't know what is.




Edit: Let's move this over yonder!http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?p=758580
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  #20  
Old September 19th, 2010, 12:05 PM

Radio_Star Radio_Star is offline
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Default PD wars! (no monkeys allowed)

http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?p=758579

Let's move this debate over here.
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