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Bardan

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PostSubject: 3rd Party Evaluation   Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:02 am

TA:K for the lot of us was something special, since the very beginning when we saw the hordes of goblings shredded by cannon fire. It blended a bit of the fantastical with the scientific and worked. As soon as those ingenius few began popping out programs to spread our own magic in the form of new and exiciting units, well... a whole new dimension was added to Kingdoms.

I'll admit I fell to the craze in my old days. I frothed at the mouth with anticipation of finally breaking through the Gordian Knot and unleashing my own creations. I was admitedly a failure with graphics, but I had an eye for true tactics and suitable balanced statistics. This was my contribution in yon golden age, aiding my fellows with more skill with the eye-candy.

So it is now that, after the better part of a decade hiatus, I am back and began dusting off the old units and races. As I'm still getting back into the swing of things, I'd like to take a look at some of these units and races. I'd like to point out their strengths and weaknesses. I'd like to see which ones are truly creative and those which are devastatingly effective.

This is my Foreward and Forewarning; these are my opinions and I don't seek to insult any capable creators...

After all, I never succeeded.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:51 am

Tyrak Evaluation

Graphics: 7 - Took some time and effort, but too many shortcuts
Balance: 7 - Has promise, but not quite
Complete: 5 - Missing a true Divine Builder, a true Dragon-analogue, and a God. BIG gaps...
Creativity: 5 - Good effort, but just comes across as Taros's little brother

Alright, so the first thing that strikes me is that seemingly everything - or nearly so - has either a Taros buildpic or a Taros 3d frame. Even the heavily modified ones are easily noticed. But lets go beneath the surface a bit...

Monarch:

Xorn is a typical hardass. Good for solo-ing in the early stages, helps out in a tight spot... not bad. His wave attack, though, is interesting in that he can cast it from a greater distance than I've ever seen another Monarch do so...

Tier 1:
Crypt - Looks a bit like a charred Cabal...
Eye of Evil: - Good scout, very creative.
Skeleton Warrior
: Solid infantry; slightly more cost, damage, HP, etc as Aramon Swordsman
Macemen
: Solid 'heavy' infantry; a bit more cost, damage, HP than Skeleton Warrior
Undead Caymen
: Fast, weak, terrifyingly ineffective... but HUGE Line of Sight distance for a Tier 1. More than double sight, but less than half damage than Aramon Archer.
Dark Gryphon
: A combat flyer at Tier 1 on the edge of reason, really. It gives the Tyrak a quick advantage (and cheap!) for aerial combat, and its almost a carbon copy of the Zhon Gryphon! In fact, I think this sucker is better, if only slightly (higher altitude, more HP, better range...)
Dark Summoner
: Pretty typical builder, but can fight and has better range than most others.

***Notice there are no siege-type units. No Catapults. And no 'special' units either, such as the Ghost Ship or Swamp Beast... but then, that may be the 'balance' for having a full-fledged aerial combat unit so early.***

Tier 2:
Dark Asylum - Temple of Belial rip
Hell Hound: For 1000 mana, he's... stretching his usefulness. The Taros Skeleton Archer is cheaper, better range, and more damage. But this guy has way more HP... but I don't know about his price. There's something not right, but I can't put my finger on it.
Skeleton Fighter: One of two things is wrong with this guy - either he's WAY too cheap, or he's WAY too overpowered for his cost. Double his cost, or strip his HP and damage, and then he'll be alright. As it is, he's just a tank.
Undead Ranger: Wasn't this the unit that had the Race broken for so long? Stupidly overpowered, but limited to 5 total. Even with that, though, I ran through an enemy base with just these 5 and some minor Reaper support and tore it apart. They're too fast, fire way too quickly, and with their Exploding Arrows can take down buildings like nobody's business. And since they can survive a wave attack, they are a Monarch Death Squad.
Warlock: This is supposed to be the Divine Builder, but there was an error since its Elsin's copy, so he can help build everything AND raise the dead. Something is broken, too, where there can be only 1 of them... and the fact that he can't seem to build the Divine Dragon. The cost of 4500 is just arbitrary.
Reaper: Odd critter, this one. It can repair units, clear debris, and throw one scary scythe. The ranged attack can decimate buildings... which I don't get since it's a bloody scythe, but whatever. Too tough for a half-ranged, half-melee unit, and too cheap to boot.

*More to come* - the enemy died before I could get a full battle test...

Dragon
: What Dragon? But We've got Zadoc Hellbringer! He's by no means a Dragon-replacement, but he's of rather comparable cost. Most Divine Dragons and analogues are 40-50k, and he's at 36-ish. He has the advantage of being able to go toe-to-toe with units which might flee a dragon, of course, this puts him in harm's way more, as well. Powerful guy, but couldn't do more than say a monarch could without support.

The files show a Divine Dragon, built by the Warlock. For some reason, it wasn't in the first game I played, but was in the 2nd, and missing again in the 3rd. Something is broken there. This guy is cheap by Dragon standards, at a motley 25-26k. I don't have the stats, but he appears to hold his own fairly well. Rapid fire standard attack which does good damage, and a wave attack which turns everything to stone. At first I thought it was a single-target kind of thing, but then hit a large group with it. For the price, the speed, toughness, and combat ability, this Dragon needs some fine-tuning, but I like the concept.

God:
None...

Bugs: I remember this being one of the buggiest of the early races. Not entirely sure why, and don't remember beyond one of the ranger/archer units caused a game-crash. Well, it still crashes, and I still don't know why.

Conclusion: So it's a blatant Taros rip-off... so what? Perhaps playing such an under-powered race could give the player a needed boost in challenge level. I had fun with it, even if it does need some work. The biggest concern for me was the game-crashing. Ruined a couple of good games...



As illustrated here, the enemy can be easily swamped by an early rush of the Tyrak Tier 1...
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Vaerun

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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:16 pm

Alright Bardan. I need you to evaluate this version of the Illohir race and point out the bugs and glaring overbalance issues. Make sure you read the READ ME.txt.

I know it's a large file: 10.5 mb, however, I did not feel like going thru all the sound files and 3do files to see which didnt belong. I took out most of the ones which did not belong, however, there could be a few more.

Illohir Final

Vaerun
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:55 am

I'll get right on it after I finish my Tyrak experimenting. I still need a good study of the rest of the 2nd Tier and the buildings, but that's about it.

I see you are using Skydrive now, too. Glad I could put that little gem out into the TAK world... shame it wasn't around 10 years ago when TAKMCC was still going strong. (And it has been 10 years, not 7 as I thought - I found some stupid old forums from Knights of Magic... I was an annoying teenager then!)

Also, if you don't have it - get MSN. I'll chat your ear off.


Last edited by Bardan on Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:14 am

By the by, I'm revamping a lot of Tyrak's stats... they were abominable.

-The Divine Builder (Warlock) will now actually be a Divine Builder instead of some random solo guy who can make junk. He now has no # limit, has appropriate spells (basically the Monarch's dumbed down), and I REALLY want to know why he can't seem to build the Dragon. And why he raises the dead - is this in the .cob script or the .fbi file?

-The Dragon - see above.  Made him a proper dragon, comparable in cost, strength, and such as other dragons, instead of some half-"***" one.

-I've added a real Divine Lodestone, as they had none, but need to figure out a suitable 3d0 for it... maybe a Gravestone? I dunno.

-The Defensive Structures needed some adequate balancing. The Fire Mage Tower (renamed Pyromancer Tower) was Tier 1, but almost on par with other Tier 2 for cost and effectiveness - this has been fixed. The Tier 2 tower (Rock Cannon) has been modified to better suit its needs. Previously both cost between 6k-8k, and their range-to-damage ratio was broken - also fixed. The Flame Tower is cheaper and less effective, and the Rock Cannon now has a real need and place.

-Removed the +30 mana income of the Tier 2 factory.

-The Dark Gryphon has been neutered quite a bit, but still good for Tier 1.
-The Undead Cayman (why that name?) has been renamed the Bowman, and made into an actual archer and not broken cannon fodder.
-The Mist Demon has been devolved from the Taros Fire Demon carbon copy and into a shorter-range, more-powerful version.
-The Unworthy Dead (raised by Skeleton King) has been made into a bit of a beast. Will have to test him, though, since he's not buildable and can only be created by Raising Dead and thus may not be worth it.
-Skeleton King limited to 1, beefed up to be a commando type. Gave him mana to regulate his powerful shot, as well. Should I give him a melee attack which uses no mana?
-Skeleton Fighter renamed to Bone Golem, balanced issue speed vs power.
-Undead Ranger tweaked. It was far too powerful, even for a limit of 5, so I did away with the limit and now they're just what Mage Archers only wished to be. Over 6k mana, 6k HP, 1500 mana, dumbed down attacks, great range. Nasty suckers, but for 6k, what'd you expect? No longer a Monarch Death Squad.
-Reaper just balanced, mana removed. Melee and short range - think the Roman Legionaire's pylum before closing ranks...
-Hell Hound is now cheaper, with slightly less damage, and much lower healrate. The price makes more sense now, essentially.
-Death Knight magic removed... then restored.  Just... tweaked.  I'm still not sure on this unit overall.
-Undead Knight now fills the role of cavalry support.  He's pretty nice, comparable to the Aramon Knight...ish.
-Dark Guardian... I'm leaving this guy alone.  For now.


-Zadoc Hellbringer.  This guy fills the same sort of spot as the Taros Fallen Angel.  But he isn't a match, by any means.  So I've fixed that.  He's limited to 1 total, but he's got the cahones to back it up.  14k hitpoints, enough damaging attacks to give a Dragon, Monarch, or possibly a God pause, and so forth.  But costing 46k mana... well yeah.

I really didn't need to or want to, but I'm too OCD to let it go as is. So there will be a V.4 - for me at least... How do I make it work with the TAKSwitcher?



Last edited by Bardan on Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:05 pm; edited 4 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:25 am

Here you go:

"Two files are required, first race.side.txt. This file
contains the stuff that needs to be added to sidedata.tdf for the race to be
usable. The number in the [side8] tag will be adjusted automatically for the
number of races added. Second race.ufo (or race.hpi). This file contains the
actual data for the race or cheating ai." per TAKSreadme file.

So if its going to be version 4, make a copy of version 3 race.side.text and rename to your version. Place your version of Tyrak.ufo in the races folder and rename to match the other file.

Vaerun
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:35 am

Awesome, thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:24 pm

Quick question... there are two folders: "units" and "unitscb"... is the latter one for Crusades Balance?

Umm... this may sound odd, but I have no real idea of what that is.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:35 pm

unitscb is for crusade balance. You need to have the unit file in both folders in order to work.

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Bardan

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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:01 pm

Yeah... I've just never played with Crusades Balance or given it much thought. Oh well.

Question here, though...

[DAMAGE]
{
default = 9000;
human = 1.0;
monster = 1.0;
undead = 1.0;
airship = 0;
dragon = 0;
factory = 0;
fort = 0;
god = 0;
monarch = 0;
naval = 0;
siege = 1.0;

Does the "1.0" mean that its the full 9,000 default damage? If so, why are some of them on 0? Does that mean zero damage? I seem to remember these are multipliers, but I'm not sure. I don't want to have something go by with a "monarch = 25;" now do I?
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:25 pm

Yes, that means full damage. However, I do not underdstand why they put it in like that. It adds more code that the game has to read which could bog it down, so it's unnecessary.
The default 9000 would have applied to all damagecategories, unless it was specified otherwise, such as the other categories with zero, which means no damage and units of that type will not target those other types of units with zero. So, if I wanted humans, monsters, undead and siege to take different amounts of damage, I would change the number to 0.75, 0.5, etc for those categories to take 75% or 50% of the full damage. But, if I wanted those categories to take more damage, I would do 1.1, 1.2 and so on whereas those types would take 10% more, 20% more, etc.. Also, you could try negative numbers, which I think actually heals those other types of units. I am not sure how it works, but I remember seeing a post or two about it on the TA Universe forums and at MTMC. Good luck!

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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:11 pm

Well that was for the Taros Fallen Angel, the sword attack, so mabye they didn't want it to take down a Stronghold in a couple of hits, or send a group after a monarch to end the war ASAP. Maybe.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:01 pm

Vaerun wrote:
Alright Bardan. I need you to evaluate this version of the Illohir race and point out the bugs and glaring overbalance issues. Make sure you read the READ ME.txt.

I know it's a large file: 10.5 mb, however, I did not feel like going thru all the sound files and 3do files to see which didnt belong. I took out most of the ones which did not belong, however, there could be a few more.

Illohir Final

Vaerun

I can't seem to get it to extract... any idea why? You other file (Creonadvanced) extracted just fine.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:17 pm

So I just had a peek at the Solaron in-game... Its so broken, I don't think I'm even going to Evaluate it.

Well... no, I will evaluate it, but I will not even think about attempting to fix it.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:21 pm

Sorry about that. I used a different zip program to compress the files as much as possible.

Use this program at http://www.7-zip.org/, called 7zip.


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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:47 pm

Alright, I'm on it. Or will be shortly. Need to have my tires aligned before closing.

P.S. Get Windows Live Messenger. Or some form of chat so I can bug you at all hours.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:03 pm

Played Orison briefly... its not nearly so bad as the Solaron, but still horrendous. However! Someone over the years has taken it and revamped it, giving it fresh units, new buildpics and whatnot. When I played it a decade ago, it was almost on par with the Solaron. Interesting, but awful.
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:05 pm

Oh, and I actually went through a full game with the Cursed earlier. Quite an impressive race, that one. I remember very vaguely playing an early version of it before I fell out of the Kingdoms community, but its really quite good. Some balance issues, but very impressive nonetheless.

I know I'm just kind of ranting about them now, but I will have more.

KM-Sage, do you mind if I clutter your forums further? That is, I think it will be quite problematic if I keep all of the evalutations in one thread, so what I'm thinking is doing one thread per race... how's that sound?
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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:15 pm

That's fine. Do what you have to do.

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PostSubject: Re: 3rd Party Evaluation   Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:47 am

KM-Sage wrote:
That's fine. Do what you have to do.

Man of few words. I appreciate that... sometimes I rather wish I could be brief.
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