Post news RSS Dev Diary #4: Defenders of the Realm

In this diary, we take a little look at the work we're doing to balance Men at Arms regiments as well as showcasing some gorgeous new unit artwork by LooseTongue that will be arriving in v2.2.

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Dev Diary #4: Defenders of the Realm

“I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” - Faramir, The Two Towers

Hey guys, it's me again with another Dev Diary. I was hoping to be able to give you a deep dive of the history and set up of one of the new areas in the South this week, but a teething baby has limited the amount of work I've been able to do on that and will have to leave it for next weekend's Dev Diary! So rather than showing something half-baked, I thought I'd share my investigations into exactly how combat in CK3 works, its implications for balancing our Men at Arms regiments in the mod and a sneak peak at some of the awesome new MaA illustrations we'll be adding in v2.2.

Combat in CK3

With more and more MaAs being added over time, I thought it'd be worth sitting down and researching exactly how combat works in CK3 to allow us to better design our units. Up to this point, our designs have largely been used vanilla units as a guide before tweaking as we saw fit to create LotR themed regiments. From that research, I've found the following:

When you sweep aside all the different combat modifiers you can get from buildings, terrain, commanders, advantage (etc etc), you're left with the main MaA stats that are listed on the unit's outline. Of these, there are three main unit stats that determine which side will win in any battle: Strength, Damage and Toughness. Strength is a measure of how many individual units are in a regiment, Toughness measures how much damage it takes to kill one of those units, and Damage dictates how much damage each soldier in that regiment can do. Furthermore, when the total damage in any combat round is calculated, it is spread out to the different regiments in the army based on its proportion of the overall Strength of the army (e.g. if an army has 800 levies and 200 men at arms, 80% of the damage will go to the levies and 20% will go to the men at arms).

Using this information (ignoring all those additional modifiers), we can determine how well each MaA unit will do against another, which is super useful when it comes to assessing balance! In fact, we can even get mathematical about it and derive a metric for a MaA's combat effectiveness before modifiers (for the basic algebra behind it, see here).

Where this value is higher for one unit than another, we'd expect it to win in a direct fight. So calculating this metric for all MaA regiments allows us to rank their fighting power and combining it with recruitment costs and maintenance values allows us to also see how much bang you get for your buck!

MaA Balance

With this new metric, we've been able to assess the balance of existing MaA units and see where we need to make changes. Take the current roster for Mordor for example:

With our new metric, we can see a few things:

  • Orc Trackers are terrible on all levels, weaker even than an Orc Rabble due to their low unit size and poor value for money. Clearly these need a buff.
  • The monstrous units all have much lower combat efficiency than might be expected. They are heavy hitters but there's not many of them and their toughness is quite low. Take into account their monstrous cost, and it's an even worse deal! Again, another candidate for tweaking.
  • Orc Rabble is an example of a MaA working well and in a flavourful way. Though they're relatively weak individually, they're highly cost efficient and can pack a punch when used en-masse.

I won't set out all the changes we expect to make here but we'll be running our existing unit rosters through this kind of sense check and analysis to make sure they're well balanced and in keeping with the theme of each culture.

New Illustrations

Finally, speaking of revisions to MaA, LooseTongue has joined the team as a contributor and has been improving the art used for the existing MaA units. You may have already seen some of his great work for Gondor in the public channels, but it only seems right to showcase some of his work in the Dev Diary!

Fellow Inklings: Join the Discussion

Not yet a member of the Realms Discord community? Join us here:

If you want to be pinged on Discord for when a new Dev Diary releases, go to the #get-a-role channel and talk to Smeagol about getting yourself a new Loreseeker role. We swears you won't regrets it...

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