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  #1  
Old August 15th, 2009, 06:48 PM
Squirrelloid Squirrelloid is offline
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Default Fire vs. Death heavy bless

So, there seems to be a marked preference for heavy fire blesses over death blesses on this forum. This confuses me greatly.

Fire 9: +6 AP damage +4 attack
Death: +2 AN damage + disease (resistable) + 350% afflictions

Fire pro:
More total damage
Attack bonus helps melee troops

Fire con:
Heavily armored targets won't take all that damage
Bless does nothing for sacred mages
You invested in an F9 mage

Death pro:
AN damage
Disease (good against thugs/SCs and tough units like giants which you might not kill)
Afflictions can cripple tough units (seeing a chest wound pop up is my most favorite result of an attack ever)
+Afflictions works on sacred mages (ie, applies to their spells).
You invested in a D9 mage

Death con:
AN damage and disease are resistable

So, the extra damage is most useful against regular line troops, which are unlikely to resist the death damage anyway. In my mind, this makes the 6AP unresistable vs. 2AN + disease resistable comparison a wash.

Then ability to apply the +afflictions chance (and its a rather large one) to sacred caster spells is amazing (and many nations have sacred casters - recruitable, summonable, or both). This means the death bless remains effective into the late game, while the entire fire bonus becomes increasingly less useful.

Then once you consider that a D9 caster is arbitrarily better than an F9 caster, I can't see ever going for an F9 bless unless you have absolutely no sacred mages (or the D9 bless is prohibitively more expensive for your available chasses).

Is there something i'm missing here?
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  #2  
Old August 15th, 2009, 07:05 PM

Agema Agema is offline
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Default Re: Fire vs. Death heavy bless

A horde of F9-bless sacreds pouring across a battlefield at you is far, far more worrying than a horde of D9 blessed sacreds. The F9 bless is about smashing opponents relatively quickly and early. You might have a "better" magic path late on, but some people may have decided having an empire 2-3 times larger even more beneficial.
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  #3  
Old August 15th, 2009, 08:25 PM
Squirrelloid Squirrelloid is offline
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Default Re: Fire vs. Death heavy bless

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agema View Post
A horde of F9-bless sacreds pouring across a battlefield at you is far, far more worrying than a horde of D9 blessed sacreds. The F9 bless is about smashing opponents relatively quickly and early.
Why? Its the early game, AN will be much better against the indies that are actually tough to beat (eg, Knights) because it ignores their armor, and any that survive a hit or two will likely be crippled. For normal units, F9 vs. D9 seems to be a wash. So little to no advantage in the early game. Resistable doesn't mean much against you average independent units.

Of course, i even mentioned this in the OP. How is F9 substantially better early? Be specific.

Quote:
You might have a "better" magic path late on, but some people may have decided having an empire 2-3 times larger even more beneficial.
Please tell me how a F9 bless turns into an empire 2-3x larger? I'm not seeing it.

Consider MA Marignon D9E9. First, its a great mage blessing, and most of your mages are sacred. Second, its great for knights of the chalice (D9 for kill speed, E9 for protection/reinvig). And its not terrible for flagellants (the D9 is useful at least). So its truly multipurpose. It also doesn't really hamper your expansion speed at all. (I've been testing with a Dom 6 D9E9 imprisoned Cyclops and sending out expansion parties on turns 3,6,8,10, etc....). It expands consistently through most non-elephant indies with no KotC losses (the first party is weaker, and should choose easier targets). Without interference by other players it can hit 20 provinces in the first year most of the time.

I doubt a fire bless would do better with them specifically. And I'm not sure i'd believe a fire bless nation would do much better. (In fact, the only way I can see to substantially improve on this would be to have a good expansion non-bless or rainbow bless army with an awake SC pretender).
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  #4  
Old August 15th, 2009, 08:54 PM

statttis statttis is offline
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Default Re: Fire vs. Death heavy bless

Why do people favor the fire bless?
1. +4 attack is huge, often more important than the extra damage
2. The affliction bonus is weak.

I'd guess that a F9 bless gives about twice the offensive power of a D9 bless.
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  #5  
Old August 15th, 2009, 09:08 PM
Squirrelloid Squirrelloid is offline
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Default Re: Fire vs. Death heavy bless

Quote:
Originally Posted by statttis View Post
Why do people favor the fire bless?
1. +4 attack is huge, often more important than the extra damage
2. The affliction bonus is weak.

I'd guess that a F9 bless gives about twice the offensive power of a D9 bless.
When do you need 2x the offensive power? And at what stage in the game is it 2x the offensive power?

Also, 350% afflictions is not weak against regenerating sacred giants (think ashdod) or similar, where your best hope is to inflict some crippling debilitations like chest wounds to reduce their effectiveness and ultimately fatigue them out. Nor is it weak when your mage pops in to cast firestorm/earthquake/etc... Or poison cloud...
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  #6  
Old August 15th, 2009, 09:23 PM

Bo Jangles Bo Jangles is offline
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Default Re: Fire vs. Death heavy bless

Quick question, I've always been a little confused by the Death Bless. Does the Affliction bonus affect all damage, including ranged weapons and spells? Does the +2AN damage bonus at D9? I *think* I've noticed that the Affliction bonus works for all damage, but the AN damage only applies to melee weapons, but I wanted to be certain.

If either of those affects do apply to all damage, I'd say that's a pretty good bargain. Of course, I also think it'd be situational (as so many things are), but in general I'd think being able to do long-lasting damage to high-HP units would be preferable.

(another small question, in case anyone knows: what does the Blood9 blessing's Death Curse or whatever do?)
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  #7  
Old August 15th, 2009, 09:25 PM

Huzurdaddi Huzurdaddi is offline
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Default Re: Fire vs. Death heavy bless

Quote:
Originally Posted by statttis View Post
1. +4 attack is huge, often more important than the extra damage
This is the correct answer. The +4 to attack means that your sacred units hit far more often which greatly increases the average damage per attack.
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Old August 15th, 2009, 09:26 PM

quantum_mechani quantum_mechani is offline
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Default Re: Fire vs. Death heavy bless

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirrelloid View Post
Resistable doesn't mean much against you average independent units.
Not true, vs 10 mr you have a roughly 50/50 chance of having the hit negated. So against most things the death bless damage is only about half as good as it looks, and even less effective against high mr targets.

So, while the death bless certainly has some advantages, the damage output is not really comparable.
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  #9  
Old August 15th, 2009, 09:28 PM
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Hadrian_II Hadrian_II is offline
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Default Re: Fire vs. Death heavy bless

First about the death bless, The AN damage is MR resistible, so thugs and SCs will laugh at it, also to cause afflictions you have to cause damage first something SCs and thugs are good to avoid. (Usually a fire bless wont make a difference against an SC too, but it never hurts)

Also for comparison if sacred units would fight against each other. (Lets assume the sacreds have 10 for all their values)

The D blessed unit will attack with 10 Att against 10 Def, so it would have a 46% chance to hit.
And on every hit a 46% chance to beat the enemies MR to do 2 AN damage.

The F Blessed unit will attack with 14 Att against 10 Def which gives the F blessed unit a 76% chance to hit.
And on every hit there will be a 100% chance to do 6AP damage.

Off course death has also the affliction chance, but usually you either kill your enemies or they will kill you, maimed dead people are not more dead than ordinary dead people.
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Old August 15th, 2009, 09:56 PM
Squirrelloid Squirrelloid is offline
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Default Re: Fire vs. Death heavy bless

I grant that the F9 is better melee vs. melee. But it loses elsewhere by large margins.

Useless on sacred mages
F9 is a crappy level 9 path compared to D9
Not nearly as good against high protection units (because AP doesn't totally ignore armor).

Basically, in the following situations I would always want the D9 bless:
(1) You have sacred mages with good AoE combat spells. (Fire, Death, Water, Air, Earth, possibly Nature - ie, virtually any good mage)
(2) You have opponents with powerful units (giants or equivalent), especially blessable ones.

Lets consider case 2 a little more in-depth.

Powerful units like that will tend to appear in smaller numbers. This mean multiple attacks per such unit, and thus increasingly better chances to hit.

Blessable ones probably have an Earth bless and a nature bless (liek E9N6), and often strong base protection. Sometimes they even have strong defense. Because of this, the effect of cumulative attacks is more powerful than the F9 bonus to attack overall. Further, the AP damage is far less useful because it doesn't ignore the armor.

Much of the time your best bet is to fatigue them out so you can start racking up criticals. This means an improved chance to inflict something like 'lost an eye' which makes their attack value lower helps, and chest wound is amazing. Especially when they regenerate, the +affliction chance can really turn combats around.

While it'll happen a low proportion of the time, the AN damage totally ignores that high protection, which means 2AN is actually better than 6AP, even if it happens less often.

Even against SCs/thugs, they'll fail that resistance roll with some frequency - its just a matter of making enough attacks. And they'll tend to have enough defense/protection that the F9 bless won't be that noticeably efficient.

Generally, i think the F9 bless, when its actually better mathematically, just tends to be overkill. Ie, its extra power you *didn't need*. And if the +to hit is the really relevant part, an F4 minor bless is a lot less expensive and half as good - far better value for your points. And F4 is all the fire your pretender will ever need as a spellcaster.

Finally, I have this suspicion that, if the unit with the D9 bless has penetration gear, that'll apply to the AN+disease resistance check, so could work for sacred thugs/SCs of your own. But I don't know that.
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