The Old God has left the world and the pretenders are awakening and coming out from hiding. You start the game by designing one of the pretender gods that will compete for true ascension to godhood. The type of god can range from a magically powerful arch mage to an ancient kraken or a mystic monolith that people pray to. Your pretender controls one of over sixty different nations and with the help of that nation he will spread his word and battle the other pretenders. Dominions 3 is a turn based strategy game. You can play single- or multiplayer (1 - 23 players) with simultaneous turns. There are more than 1500 different units, 600 spells and 300 magic items in the game. The game also features a medieval musical score by Erik Ask Uppmark and Anna Rynefors, both awarded the title of Musicians of the Realm by the Swedish Zornmärkeskommiten. Dominions 3 is a highly detailed game and a 300 page pdf manual is included in the download.

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Dominions 4: Thrones of Ascension Announced (Games : Dominions 3: The Awakening : Forum : General Discussion : Dominions 4: Thrones of Ascension Announced) Locked
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Jun 28 2013, 6:44pm Anchor

I've probably played more team games than any other active Dominions 3 player. I don't say this idly; I've been in more than half of all the team games ever played on Something Awful. I played in 2 of the 3 Noobs vs Vets games on Shrap, and both Prepo games (one as a sub). I've finished more than a dozen team games.

So I think I'm qualified to say a few things about balance mods as they apply to team games.

Firstly, in Dominions 3 teamplay you need a certain level of individual effort before your teamwork begins to count. That is to say, reliability is the most important precondition that allows you to put together a functional team. And one of the factors reliability feeds from pretty much directly is nation balance. 

Once you have good reliability among teammates pretty much everything else is team play. Teams with good coordination basically act as if they have a shared pool of resources. That's a huge force multiplier wherever the team decides to apply it.

But the problem is you never have perfect reliability. I've had teammates who are ok players and good communicators and it still felt like I was feeding gold into a bottomless hole. I couldn't aid directly and they had a terrible nation matchup. Likewise I've, without aid from my team, rolled over enemy nations just like it was a FFA game, the only real difference being I didn't have to worry about borders at all, which isn't something that's nation-unique enough to change playstyle. And because of imperfect reliability, balance mods especially national balance mods DO help a lot, regardless of the team setup and in my experienced opinion regardless of Dom4's more unique team setup options.

A balance mod in the style of CBM is actually extremely helpful for team balance issues. Mainly because even-ing out the usefulness of spells and flattening national balance while maintaining national identity doesn't really change the resources available to each player, and resource sharing is where good teams shine. Resources stay path, research and gem/gold limited. In terms of capabilities from those resources, the best versions of CBM lean more towards making "never in any situation" go to "sometimes", which again doesn't spread capabilities around. I've found CBM based mods very beneficial to the team game experience.

A mod in the style of AwesomeGods (which is distinctly NOT a balance mod, although it strives to be internally balanced) would be less balanced for a Dom4 team game, because AG style supergods on the team leader affects the entire team, so you can multiply national pretender advantages to every team member. It is something that might have to be balanced differently for solo and disciple games. A mod that adds new general capabilities that apply to many nations would likewise have a big effect on team games. Basically, new stuff that can be spread around, like new items spread through interteam trading, improved pretenders spread through the disciple system, those new gemgen units that are popular in some SA mods, all provide something that can be distributed through a team shared resources system, and as such affect team games different compared to individual games.

But most balance mods don't add a significant quantity of "spreadable" resources or capabilities. So it's my opinion that they're still good for team games as is.

Edited by: The_Demon

Maerlande
Maerlande Grumpy Old Fart
Jun 28 2013, 6:48pm Anchor

Phooey!  Atlantis and R'lyeh allied??? That's heresy! ;)

--

I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay / I sleep all night and I work all day / I cut down trees / I skip and jump / I like to press wild flowers

My Videos / My Guides 

Jun 28 2013, 7:58pm Anchor

Hey Edi, it's been a while. You're probably eager for another question or two so here you go.

1) Blood sacrifice is a powerful mechanic. Does blood saccing generate as many temple checks in Dom 4 as in Dom 3?

2) Are you raking in the big money for all your work for IW? :P

Jun 28 2013, 8:46pm Anchor

It would be cool if caves could come up in random map generation. Not too many of them, but maybe a few here and there for variety.

Jun 29 2013, 1:40am Anchor

Valerius:
1) Fixed
2) Just my copy of Dominions 4 :)

Admiral_Aorta:
Yes, caves appear here and there on RMG. I think the default spread was 3%.

Ballbarian has promised that he will update (or perhaps completely redo) RanDom for Dominions 4 once the game comes out, so we'll be able to use it for enhanced random map generation. The Dom3 RanDom works with Dom4, but can't use all the features of the Dom4 RMG and requires a renamed copy of the exe.

Jun 29 2013, 1:51am Anchor

What does 1) Fixed mean? Blood sacrifice being powerful was not a mistake surely? I'd hate to see it nerfed too hard.

Jun 29 2013, 2:07am Anchor

It generated two temple checks per sacrifice instead of the one that it was supposed to. That has been fixed for both Dom3 and Dom4.

Jun 29 2013, 2:17am Anchor
Edi wrote:Weather is not adjusted for each nation. One god, one dominion, one set of scales for everyone in the alliance.

That seems really limiting. I can't think of any special lore reason why Abysia and Caelum being on the same team should be an auto-lose. 

Would it be possible to have Disciples adjust their internal scales on a 1:1 basis? I would be fine with having to have -6 total scales because Mictlan is the god and they spent through the nose for an awesome bless (because hey, you get the bless too). But I think it's lame that we can't have Turmoil in Pangaea lands and Order in Tien Chi lands on the same team. That really severely limits a lot of faction combinations.

-Frank 

Jun 29 2013, 2:45am Anchor

But if you're teamed up with other nations you're already getting a lot of advantages, there should be some tradeoff to compensate for that.

Jun 29 2013, 3:00am Anchor
Admiral_Aorta wrote:But if you're teamed up with other nations you're already getting a lot of advantages, there should be some tradeoff to compensate for that.

But the tradeoff teaming up Machaka and Abysia is much less than the tradeoff teaming up Caelum and Abysia. Many factions have what is essentially obligate scales (Heat for Abysia, Cold for Caelum, Turmoil for Pangaea, Productivity for Ulm, and so on), and if factions have obligate scales that don't match, they will be terrible to team together. There are a few factions that can be played in different directions (EA Arco and Sloth/Productivity for Philosopher research vs. Hoplites), but a lot of factions simply have the choice of taking the right scales or being terrible.

In related news: what happens if your Pretender puts up a global enchantment? Do Disciple armies benefit from Gift of Health? Are Disciple provinces protected by Mechanical Militia? Are Disciple armies bolstered by Carrion Woods units? Are Disciple armies spooked by Dark Skies? Are Disciple armies compelled to leap into the ocean by the Lure of the Sea? 

-Frank

Jun 29 2013, 4:29am Anchor
FrankTrollman wrote:
Edi wrote:Weather is not adjusted for each nation. One god, one dominion, one set of scales for everyone in the alliance.

That seems really limiting. I can't think of any special lore reason why Abysia and Caelum being on the same team should be an auto-lose. 

Would it be possible to have Disciples adjust their internal scales on a 1:1 basis? I would be fine with having to have -6 total scales because Mictlan is the god and they spent through the nose for an awesome bless (because hey, you get the bless too). But I think it's lame that we can't have Turmoil in Pangaea lands and Order in Tien Chi lands on the same team. That really severely limits a lot of faction combinations.

-Frank 



There are some nations that are thematically and from a game mechanics point of view better fit as alliances than some other combinations and that's just the way it is. The entire point of disciples is that they think the team's pretender god is so awesome that they are willing to give up their own claim to godhood (FFA games) in order to subordinate themselves to a greater power . Doesn't much make sense that they would then rebel against that power by going against its wishes in the scales department?

With regard to the temperature scales, it is not quite that simple also. All nations start their scales adjustment from the same amount of points with their temperature scales already preset to the national preference. So no more free design points for hot or cold nations on temperature scale basis. This also means that if you team Abysia with Caelum, it's better to select as god the nation whose sacreds are not being boosted and then crank the temp scale to be bad for them. More free points that way to fuel the bless so the god nation takes the performance hit and the disciples get the boost. This can be the rationale for putting together a Wild Weather team.

Jun 29 2013, 5:33am Anchor

I would like some sort of alliance mode that lets every player have their own bless and scales in addition to the more thematic team mode. Dom4 probably has enough nations for a huge variety of viable setups and you can always restrict choices in multiplayer games, but I mean, still, the option for less thematic team games with team mechanics would be nice.

Edited by: elmokki

Jun 29 2013, 6:03am Anchor

One question: How does Golem Cult work in disciple game?

Oh, and Edi, if you see this, please check Bug Discussion.
I post another bugs, but this forum seem to dislike double post. :D

Jun 29 2013, 9:50am Anchor

Actually, how does a dominion like those LA R'lyeh, LA Ermor or MA C'tis work if they're from the pretender? Will it make them completely ridiculously stupid nations to choose as the main pretender? What about vice versa, will LA R'lyeh and LA Ermor lose their game defining gimmicks as disciple nations?

I imagine all of them can be implemented as negative special effects affecting  only enemies and positive effects only yourself regardless of if it's your dominion or your master's.

Jun 29 2013, 10:19am Anchor
Edirr wrote:With regard to the temperature scales, it is not quite that simple also. All nations start their scales adjustment from the same amount of points with their temperature scales already preset to the national preference. So no more free design points for hot or cold nations on temperature scale basis. .

I dont like this.
Having preference for Heat 3 for example is a disadvantage in itself thus losing the free design points seems really wrong to me.
Maybe lowering it a bit,but losing it completely?
This sure makes Heat/Cold 3 nations quite a bit  less appealing to me.

Maerlande
Maerlande Grumpy Old Fart
Jun 29 2013, 11:07am Anchor

Mardagg!  It's been years!  Welcome back.

--

I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay / I sleep all night and I work all day / I cut down trees / I skip and jump / I like to press wild flowers

My Videos / My Guides 

Jun 29 2013, 11:16am Anchor

Hey Maerlande! Nice to see you being still around.
I was lurking the different forums for quite some time already, looking forward to play some games of dom 4 in the future :)

Jun 29 2013, 11:40am Anchor

A basque inspired nation ?

Jun 29 2013, 11:46am Anchor

Would be nice to have both Disciple and Pantheon options.

Jun 29 2013, 12:13pm Anchor
Mardagg77 wrote:
Edirr wrote:With regard to the temperature scales, it is not quite that simple also. All nations start their scales adjustment from the same amount of points with their temperature scales already preset to the national preference. So no more free design points for hot or cold nations on temperature scale basis. .

I dont like this.
Having preference for Heat 3 for example is a disadvantage in itself thus losing the free design points seems really wrong to me.
Maybe lowering it a bit,but losing it completely?
This sure makes Heat/Cold 3 nations quite a bit  less appealing to me.


Less appealing because you don't get two or three scales worth of free points to put in other scales and blesses? Or for other reasons? A cold or heat preference is not a disadvantage for that nation, but it is a disadvantage to everyone neighboring them. A few nations, Abysia mainly, need something to compensate for the loss of free points because they have been practically relying on those points to equalize some other massive deficit (production mainly), but not nearly all of them need that kind of compensation. Caelum in the MA or EA , for example have no such corresponding need.

Jun 29 2013, 12:16pm Anchor
FrankTrollman wrote:
Edi wrote:Weather is not adjusted for each nation. One god, one dominion, one set of scales for everyone in the alliance.

That seems really limiting. I can't think of any special lore reason why Abysia and Caelum being on the same team should be an auto-lose. 

Would it be possible to have Disciples adjust their internal scales on a 1:1 basis? I would be fine with having to have -6 total scales because Mictlan is the god and they spent through the nose for an awesome bless (because hey, you get the bless too). But I think it's lame that we can't have Turmoil in Pangaea lands and Order in Tien Chi lands on the same team. That really severely limits a lot of faction combinations.

-Frank 


Really? You can't think of any special lore reason why the nation of fire-elemental descendants an the nation of ice-craftsman yazatas should not be together?
If Mictlan is god, then have the disciples be other nations that desperately want a strong bless. Not having Pangaea and Tien'Chi on the same team because one wants Turmoil and the other wants Order sounds like flavored balance to me, man.
It's proper, in my eyes, that teams should be composed of like-minded nations, instead of just being a random mish-mash.

Jun 29 2013, 12:32pm Anchor
Edirr wrote:
Less appealing because you don't get two or three scales worth of free points to put in other scales and blesses? Or for other reasons? A cold or heat preference is not a disadvantage for that nation, but it is a disadvantage to everyone neighboring them. A few nations, Abysia mainly, need something to compensate for the loss of free points because they have been practically relying on those points to equalize some other massive deficit (production mainly), but not nearly all of them need that kind of compensation. Caelum in the MA or EA , for example have no such corresponding need.

This is much more complicated.I renember having a lot of discussions about the free design points already years ago,iirc even back to dom 2.
You say,neighbours are at disadvantage,i say neigbours being at disadvantage is the disadvantage for Heat 3/Cold 3 nations because of diplomacy reasons.
Heat 3/Cold 3 nations can have up to 6 points malus to income,supply ,fatigue,etc. whereas the negative effect of Heat0/cold 0 nations can only be at -3 at worst.
I always thought the way dominions handled it,by giving free design points,is the perfect solution.

Less appealing in the sense of making something underpowered what wasnt overpowered before and for thematic/logical reasons.
And yes,i mainly think of Abysia here,which is among my favorite nations thematic wise and we probably all agree that Aby wasnt overpowered before at all.
if the nations that are mostly hit by this change are compensated somehow,then i might be somewhat ok with that change even though i still think it makes not much sense.
Why change something that worked well?
If there is need for a different mechanic because of the new team games,then it might be  a good idea ,to inlcude two mechanics for the temperature scales,1 for team games and 1 for normal games.

Jun 29 2013, 1:05pm Anchor
Mardagg77 wrote:And yes,i mainly think of Abysia here,which is among my favorite nations thematic wise and we probably all agree that Aby wasnt overpowered before at all.

I've played MA Aby a fair amount and they are one of my favorite nations. I don't think they are OP at all but I definitely don't think they're weak either (especially when you get that blood economy rolling). I have to admit I've always viewed Heat 3 as 120 free points (thanks for paying for my Order 3!). And the great thing about Aby is with blood sac you can not only make sure your dominion is strong in your own territories but push it into others when needed. And, as you take over opponent's forts you can quickly flip their dominion to yours.

As far as fatigue goes, the main issue is that indie mages will suffer extra encumbrance when in your Heat/Cold 3 dominion - but your own mages don't suffer extra encumbrance from operating in an opponent's dominion - other than the standard +2 enc when the scales hit H/C 3 that anyone without at least 50% FR/CR would face.

As far as supplies go, well, it's not something I think much about and seems pretty easy to fix with magic items if needed.

Generally speaking, I really don't think that the free points from temp scales were ever intended as a balancing mechanism. While there are nations that could use the benefit there are others that really don't need it (120 free points for Jotun? Huh?)

PS - I haven't played LA Aby but my understanding is that they are a strong nation. EA Aby isn't IMO but I'd prefer to see them get some sort of boost rather than use points from temp scales for that purpose.

Moehein wrote:If Mictlan is god, then have the disciples be other nations that desperately want a strong bless. Not having Pangaea and Tien'Chi on the same team because one wants Turmoil and the other wants Order sounds like flavored balance to me, man.
It's proper, in my eyes, that teams should be composed of like-minded nations, instead of just being a random mish-mash.

As a potential team game newbie I have to agree that the main appeal is having one pretender and having to come up with a build that works for the team as a whole. Take that away and it seems a lot less interesting. And I don't think every nation has to potentially be a good fit for every other nation. Still, I see elmokki's point that it would be nice to have an option to play that way and still be able to take advantage of team game mechanics like stationing troops on an ally's territory. But that does seem like a non-trivial amount of coding to accomplish. And of course if that conflicts with IW's vision then they likely won't go with it.

Also, this is OT but I've got say Pan plays great without Turmoil. I hate chaff and never take Turmoil with them and have done well. But my greatest qualification is I may have the all-time record of losses to MA Pan and none of those three players focused on maenads (and none were newbs either).

doncorazon wrote:Wow, exciting.  I had an inspiration to check the dominions forums after many, many moons.  Can't wait!  Thanks KO & JK!

And speaking of my losses to MA Pan here is the leader of my second defeat to that nation. :P So, are you coming out of MP retirement DC?

Edirr wrote:2) Just my copy of Dominions 4 :)

Wow. No joking intended: that is really nice of you.

Edited by: Valerius.

Jun 29 2013, 1:52pm Anchor

1. Does income and resources still work the same? Taxation as well.
2. Do team members have a collective pool of money to work from or do we all have our own wallets?

Jun 29 2013, 2:12pm Anchor
Valerius. wrote:
As far as supplies go, well, it's not something I think much about and seems pretty easy to fix with magic items if needed.

Generally speaking, I really don't think that the free points from temp scales were ever intended as a balancing mechanism. While there are nations that could use the benefit there are others that really don't need it (120 free points for Jotun? Huh?)



The free points of temp scales have been around forever, I think its not important if they were ever intended as a balancing mechanism or not, its just a fact that all balancing in Dom 2 and Dom 3,be it through mods or vanilla patches,has been done keeping the temp scale mechanic in mind.
If you change that mechanic you create a huge minefield balance wise that does affect all nations that prefer any Heat/cold scales and in turn ALL nations in the game. 
Its not only the Heat 3/cold 3 nations.What about Machaka with heat 2 taking Heat 3 always.What about Vanheim?.Etc.
Essentially all heat/cold nations suffer a huge hit.
Jotunheim was a strong nation,now becomes average.Abysia was average ,now becomes weak(EA Aby =below average,MA Aby=average,LA Aby=above average,but faces strong competition, is my personal ranking).

Of course there are significant differences between vanilla and mod games.
Last MP game i played using vanilla rules i had huge supply issues and they had been rather tough to come by given the limited access to magic  .

Edited by: Mardagg77

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