We have some (what I think are) very good Dom2 players, and I know the devs sometimes read the board. Illwinter has been totally awesome about continuing to refine and support Dom2 even though I believe it’s a year (or maybe more than a year) since release. Thanks guys! I’m not sure whether there are going to be further patches, but if there are, I had a couple of suggestions (and the more experienced players probably have even better suggestions) and/or questions about the intended gameplay:
Some restriction on exponential gem strategies like clam hoarding. For example, it would be cool if each nation could only get a certain number of gems per turn from clams, with further clams being forgeable (in case you want to trade them or have a reserve in case carriers are killed) but ineffective for you. As it stands, it seems like all the good players feel that they have to clam hoard in order to be competitive, and that puts people like me at a disadvantage–I won’t clam hoard because I refuse to make the game tedious in order to win, but that means I often find myself facing opponents with a significant gem advantage. It also increases the power of Astral magic relative to the other lines, because you can get a cheap, bountiful, undetectable supply of astrals, which is not true of other gems.
More robust messaging options, especially the ability to insert a cursor into text to make a correction, and (most especially) the ability to send the same message to multiple recipients without retyping it. A way to review messages (including gem/item send messages) would also be nice (in other words, after I click “OK,” I’d like to be able to go back and double-check what I sent. Right now, I have to delete all messages and re-do them if I want to be sure).
Some restriction on life drain. My feeling is that SC leaders are a great part of the game, but at the moment I think they’re a little too dominant. It’s especially difficult for empires who don’t have access to spells like Teleport or Cloud Trapeeze, because even if they have a counter (like their own SC designed to stop the enemy SC), it can be extremely difficult and time-consuming to bring that counter to bear. Of all the powers in the game, the one that I think really makes SC’s unstoppable is life drain, and it’s not that hard a power to come by (particularly for death casters). I like the idea of having it in game, but what if a unit could only drain a certain amount of life in each battle? Is it by design that, for example, a lone Wraith Lord with a Wraith Sword can take out hundreds of troops at no real risk? Obviously there are countermeasures that can be taken, like I said, but pinning down the leader can be difficult if you don’t have teleportation of some kind. I think that if life drain were made a little less powerful, SCs in general would not be quite so dominant. They’d still be a huge part of the game, but it would then become more appropriate to include a couple massive SCs in a more conventional army, which I think would be a more enjoyable game. Maybe that’s not the design you were going for, of course, but that’s my .02.
Increased patrolling effectiveness, especially against spies. It’s not difficult for a nation with access to spies to really, really put the hurt on their enemies with very little cost. I’m playing a game as Ulm right now where I’ve essentially built a spy at every fort every turn unless I really needed some other leader. I made a couple stupid mistakes with them that has caused me to lose several, but even with that, it’s been pretty easy to spike unrest over 100 at several places at once in not too long a time. For the cost investment, it just seems too powerful. I realize the time investment is also a part of it (marching the spies deep into enemy territory takes many turns, as does gathering the spies to begin with). I also realize that unrest has no effect on gem production, which dominates in the late game. But I still think it’s too much, at least by a little.
I. Disallow movement of gems from commanders back to the lab. Note that this wouldn’t apply to blood slaves, because they aren’t gems. Commanders can share gems among themselves, but never put the gems back in the lab.
Right now in my games I only have commanders with gems in two cases. The first case is that the commander has been given gems to fuel battlefield magic. In that case, there is no reason to take the gems back. The second case is that the commander got the gems from a clam/fetish/etc and is being used in a hoarding scheme. In the hoarding scheme, there is a strong motivation to put the gems back in the lab but I’d like to disallow that to stamp out the hoarding.
Disallowing transfers of gems from commanders to the lab totally solves the hoarding problem while still retaining the usefulness of clams/fetishes for their field purpose, to fuel battle mages.
Create a spell to temporarily boost the effectiveness of patrollers in a given province. I’m thinking something astral, but air might be appropriate as well. The idea of this spell is to boost the ability of patrollers to catch nasty assassins, stealth preachers, spies, etc. I’d made it cost 4-5 gems so that it isn’t casually usable but would exist as a fallback plan for an enemy that got too reliant on stealth infiltrations.
Increase the level of wrathful skies by 1. It’s too powerful for its current level.
Make an option for large games to increase the global list from 5 slots to 10 slots or perhaps some number in between.
Yes they should. Otherwise you end up with exactly the same situation but with a slightly slower exponential growth curve. Still an exponential curve, though. There’s no reason to leave any of that in the game at all - exponential growth ends up ruining every strategy game it is present in, because it is so powerful in the long term.
Yes they should. Otherwise you end up with exactly the same situation but with a slightly slower exponential growth curve. Still an exponential curve, though. There’s no reason to leave any of that in the game at all - exponential growth ends up ruining every strategy game it is present in, because it is so powerful in the long term.[/quote]
My druid pretender shouldn’t be penalized for his ability to generate one nature gem a turn. If I research to construction 8 and forge that Fiery Eye thing that sheds water gems, I shouldn’t be penalized for that either.
Obviously I’m talking about singular items / things. There has to be another way to handle clamming (that term sounds gross and icky :) ) without messing with those. Have the clams produce a random gem every turn instead of an Astral, bump them up the ladder (Construction 6 maybe), etc.
I like snowcrash’s suggestion. Make clams cursed so they can’t be removed, and add a horror mark or something else that adds a randomized risk of getting the carrier killed.
Some other things I’d like to see:
Reports on battles with hidden units don’t take you to the right place if you click on “go to province”. Would be nice to have that fixed. Also, have a battle summary (number of units killed etc.) on castle storming reports.
Finally, in the balance realm, I think it would be nice to have the pretenders tweaked a little. Maybe I lack imagination, but I always find myself taking the same guys. Same with scales: Order just seems so much better than luck, especially since luck doesn’t really seem to prevent bad things from happening. Maybe also make the big expensive castles more attractive, I rarely see people use those.
Many thanks to Illwinter for continuing to support the game, and for listening to the community like this.
Just my two cents on this: your druid pretender isn’t penalized, exactly, because he can keep the gems for use in combat. Obviously it makes gem production less useful than it would be if you can put them in a lab, but it’s not like it makes it useless. Similarly, you could just make sure you give that fiery eye to someone who can use water gems for combat.
I’m not sure that I’m convinced that clams need to be toned down, though as someone who’s only played 4 multiplayer Dom2 games, maybe I just don’t have enough experience.
But if clams need to be toned down, why not require 1 level of astral to collect the astral pearl each turn. This way the clam still functions as a portable source of astral for astral battle mages, and if you want to invest in clam hoarding, you have to keep much higher cost units than scouts in order to reap the benefits.
I know this has been done to death on the Shrapnel boards, but I was convinced that the issue was as much not enough interesting things to do with water gems as it was free income from the clams.
Clams: A Clam of Pearls is an item that can be made that gives you 1 Astral Pearl per turn. Now, in and of itself, that isn’t bad, but Clam Hording (where you crank out Clams and give them to everyone that can hold one) is a common tactic that gives a player massive Astral income (and since Astrals can be converted to other gems, that means you have massive insert gem here income)
SC’s: A Supercombatant. A guy that can mow down an entire army by him/her self. See also Nick’s Wraith Lord in QT3Porkrind
The clams don’t need to be toned down from a game balance standpoint. As long as everyone can use them equally it generally works out. The problem is they introduce an insane and annoying level of micromangement into building/protecting a clam hoard. Plus they rob the late game of interest if it just becomes a wish-fest because everyone has huge astral income.
This is a very key issue for me. The other stuff would be kind of nice, but the clam thing has been really grating on me lately so I’m probably going to start only joining no-clam games.
My Wraith Lord? I think you mean Backov’s Doom Horrors of province mowing down.
One of his Doom Horrors wandered into a trap I’d set for it last turn. I had a troll king waiting scripting to petrify it and a commander with an ethereal crossbow set to kill it. The crossbow missed 3 times (6 turns) and by that time everyone routed from fear. Doom Horrors are so close to indestructible that it isn’t funny.
I hereby suggest that the game gets a new spell, a ritual, costing 200 gems (any kind) that automatically kills the highest hp commander in a province. I would seriously consider that a good deal for getting rid of Doom Horrors. I have tons of gems but nothing I build/cast/summon seems to dent those dang horrors.
I just have a small question, and it’s only in regards to the “Micromanagement” aspect. I have a mod created that is geared towards alleviation of micromanagment.
The arguement is: If you can gain an advantage through micromanagment, someone, however nucking futz crazy, is going to use it to do so. So in order to alleviate this, reduce micromangment on aspects of a game that you can, and apply the rule of inefficency for those things that cannot (from a “Getting someone to work to fix this”) type of situation.
A change to clams potential cost to (what might be considered excessively) high or multipath requirements to forge, but the cost was only tweaked slightly. Say 5 Water, 2 Astral, while having a 10 Water Gem, 10 Astral Gem cost.
Would this stop people from clamming? Or forcing them out of the “I need to Clam/Fetish/Bloodstone to remain competitive” mindset? Or in everyone’s experience here who feels that mindset a more drastic change?
Edit: I don’t want to turn this into some sort of debate about if/why Clams are or are not overpowered, but that if such a change would alter people’s mindset.