Vortex - A Sorceress Story?

Discuss strategies of warbarons

Vortex - A Sorceress Story?

Postby somenpotatis » Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:08 pm

The statistics page lists Vortex as the 10th most used map (and I believe it has seen a recent rise of popularity). This may in part be due to what I think is a quite limited set of early, viable tactics (much like the even more popular and similarly designed Airstream that also uses lava to control unit movement), which makes the first part of the game fairly predictable.

The uninterupted lava walls points to the sorceress with her Divine movement +1 starting bonus as the natural first hero. I have also read about people getting 2 or even 3 subsequent sorceresses to maximize ruin searching, and I have tried this on 1 vs 1 games with best success from using two sorceresses going opposite directions. Lately I have specifically had my first sorceress focus on speed and UL to allow fast access to level 2 ruins, while having my second sorceress instead gaining strength, ethereal spell and plunder ability and only searching fringe level 1 ruins while mainly trying to conquer (or raze when enemies are close) cities in as many spirals as possible. Meeting few or no sages, or starting in a spiral with long distances between buildings, can effectively impede your progress. Leaving your starting spiral as soon as possible leaves more ruins for your other heroes to benefit from, and even they can in turn be trained in Divine movement to access yet other spirals for further expansion and punishment of unpreparied enemies.

Later on, especially in games with many players, the sorceress looses her dominace to other, more combat focused heroes, but she can still be used to harass weakly defended cities, scout enemy lands, launch elemental attacks over the lava and transport large groups of units over the rivers for immediate attacks (instead of having to wait 1 turn due to converting to and from boats).

Many other tactical intricacies can of course be covered, but this at least is my current point of view, but how about yours? Please share your thoughts on how to best dominate on Vortex! How did you play before introduction of the sorceress (and is it possible to use the same tactics today?). Is she over powered and what abilities should in that case be decreased? How should we best use the other heroes, and what units (and combinations) are the best?

Best regards
Johan
somenpotatis
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:43 am

Re: Vortex - A Sorceress Story?

Postby smursh » Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:24 pm

sorceress is overpowered for 1x1 on large maps. If she gets any combat attack item such as ragnarok she can take cities so fast it is totally unbalanced and if you end up with a sorc vs sorc battle early the game is basically over with 1 battle. The combination of extra xp, speed and strong ruin hunting is too much - she either should get her strength downgraded so she can't take cities/income buildings for rapid xp growth or movement to balance her.
smursh
 
Posts: 435
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:05 am

Re: Vortex - A Sorceress Story?

Postby somenpotatis » Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:15 pm

She's ridiculously fast, and movement could easily be downgraded a notch or two without making her useless. However, she isn't stronger than any other hero, but of course ignoring walls is a huge benefit that perhaps should cost around 20 instead of 10 points (I would still get it at that price!). Perhaps lowering her starting UL to around 8 would make her more of a slow burner, still having the ability to grow really strong but having to work a little harder to get there?
somenpotatis
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:43 am

Re: Vortex - A Sorceress Story?

Postby KGB » Wed Oct 28, 2020 4:56 pm

All the heroes (some units too) need a slight overhaul at this point not only for balance reasons but also to inject some new life into a game that is getting increasingly stale.

The problem is that it's unlikely to happen because Piranha/SnotlinG no longer have the time or energy to commit to doing it.

KGB
KGB
 
Posts: 3014
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:06 am

Re: Vortex - A Sorceress Story?

Postby somenpotatis » Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:58 pm

I'm sorry to hear you feel that way, KGB! For me this game still satisfies that turn-based-strategy itch we all suffer from :D and I actually haven't really felt that urge to play Warlords II or III like I used to do since joining here. The basic game mechanics in my opinion should only be gradually refined when needed (like in the case of the sorceress), although some additional quirks here and there could for sure add some temporary new energy to the existing player base.

I think some of the staleness has more to do with the social part of the game; by this time all of the circa 70 active players knows each other and seldom has anything really original to contribute in-game. I think the site would benefit from further development of the social interaction aspect, for example we could make better use of our profile pages and allow more personlization options like voluntary listing of more in-game performance statistics (to brag about and compete with others!), and the ability to also challenge individuals in addition to teams. Creating tournaments should also be easier and automated so that no extra work was requiered from the moderators, and perhaps other types of challenges should be available as well, for example "get the most cities in a limited amount of turns" or "capture the flag"-type of games (to just name a few out of countless of possible scenarios).

One thing I liked about Warlords IV was the special Warlord the lived in the capital and followed from one game to the other. Imagine a similar system on Warbarons where you could train your personal avatar in special types of games and then let them fight others at the end of the season to crown that seasons ultimate Warbaron!
somenpotatis
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:43 am

Re: Vortex - A Sorceress Story?

Postby KGB » Thu Oct 29, 2020 12:19 am

Not sure when you joined here but I've been around since it all started in 2008 as a pure War2 clone.

The problem is that there has been essentially nothing new added for several years now (at least 3) other than a handful of maps. Since there is no random map generator all we are left with is repetitive play on the same maps over and over (as you noted in your initial post). One of the absolute best features of War2/DLR/War4 was random maps where you had to explore to find cities, ruins, sites, enemies etc. That is not here so we are missing one of the 4 X's typically found in a strategy game so that it feels like we are more playing chess/checkers with set openings and strategies subjective to small bits of randomness on ruins and bad/good dice. It's probably one of the most cited reasons why players don't stay.

The heroes/units don't need radical overhauls but they do need refinement that would offer new strategies/tactics. That is the easiest thing to change because it doesn't require new graphics or new coding etc, it's just changing some stats.

The other things you mention like capture the flag would require a big commitment of time of development which sadly we aren't like to get. That and other new features like random maps, new skills/powers etc would be wonderful obviously and when the game was in development in the early years new releases were highly anticipated because of the large number of new features that enhanced game play and opened up new strategies.

KGB
KGB
 
Posts: 3014
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:06 am

Re: Vortex - A Sorceress Story?

Postby somenpotatis » Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:02 pm

My experience with randomly generated maps, mainly from 90's RTS and the Warlords series, was that they failed to keep me interested because of their sheer randomness and lack of context/power of immersion, but I suppose computers today are smarter and could potentially yeild maps of higher quality. I do get your point about a random map generator being an unexhaustable source of something new to explore, but from what I understand it too would be quite labour intensive to implement?

A substitute for a never ending stream of random maps could be to harness the power of the community. I think this idea has surfaced before in the forums, but it's worth bringing up again; map developers should be encouraged to make more maps, perhaps by having a ceremony every third month or so that awards the creator of the best new map during that period with 3 months free gold membership? The maps could be graded by the community through voting on the forums, or perhaps by some kind of questionare that pops up after completing a full length game on a new map? The creation process should perhaps be a little more formalized than today, but the basic tools is already in place!

A feature that could be quite easy to implement today would be the ability to start games (and tournaments) on maps randomly picked from our great library of maps. This would at least give players an initial sense of embarking into the unknown, and would perhaps also refamiliarize people with long since forgotten gems. This would however, as have been said before, require that the library is somewhat restructured to enable better sorting of different map categories and easier navigation (while at it, one could also imagine an in-library grading system of maps, kind of like awarding stars on IMDb to a movie you've recently seen).
somenpotatis
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:43 am

Re: Vortex - A Sorceress Story?

Postby KGB » Thu Oct 29, 2020 10:16 pm

I have the source code for the DLR and War4 random map generators. I did a fair amount of changes to the War4 one to improve it in terms of balance where it generated maps based on the number of players and type of game (team vs FFA). It shouldn't be crazy hard to port but I am not overly knowledgeable on the server side of the code (not sure if it's all Javascript or not). The larger effort I expect would be adding the hidden feature into the game so that the maps all started out fully dark until players explored them.

Making makes takes a long time. Making really good maps takes even longer. I know for me it took on the order of 20+ hours to make and update a map (at least the 100x ones). Others may be faster at it than me but it's still a huge time sink to make and test a map. Then there is no guarantee it even gets played much which makes the time investment worse. There have been plenty of good maps released in the past couple of years that hardly get any play at all and are passed over for old favorites. There would have to be something done about that (limit number of ladder games per season on a map, take top 5 most played maps out of the ladder rotation for the next season or your suggestion of random maps) to encourage more play on other maps which then might encourage more map making.

KGB
KGB
 
Posts: 3014
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:06 am


Return to Strategy talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron
Not able to open ./cache/data_global.php