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Fighting/catering difficulty change through chapters

schadenfreude

Conjurer
The type of players that play the game is so varied though. You have math wonks like MinMax playing with others that can't be bothered to think and want to be told what to do. Maybe they just like the game for the pretty pictures. Also, others may have stopped at chap 16 NOT because of the tourney impact but because the late chapters move at a glacial pace, which have taken the "fun" out of it for them. They'd rather continue to hang out with the fellowship but skip the part about watching paint dry. Yes, I am sure there are many players that once heard someone say chaptering up is bad for tourneying and just stop without understanding why, but there are others who stop chaptering for reasons other than tourney. Just like there are tons of people that are afraid to upgrade wonders and that one is also fraught with fear mongering.
 

Laurelin

Scholar
[...] Just like there are tons of people that are afraid to upgrade wonders and that one is also fraught with fear mongering.
... unless we're talking Enar's Embassy, of course - which surely must be some kind of practical joke on the devs' behalf?! Sorry, couldn't resist... ;)

PS : That said... excess Rune Shards were once entirely useless, too - hmm, now I'm really scared! What CAN Inno be planning for Broken Shards? The mind boggles - even more than it did when I realised exactly HOW much fun it's going to be trying to Trade my shiny new Obsidian... :D
 

JollyElf

Soothsayer
Yes. 10k tournament average depends mostly on willingness / time.

The actual tuning comes into play for the 20k players. And a 30k once a 9 week cycle.

And tech costs 0.45%. Not 0.42%.
(2020-8-26 CAL model)
But just considering tech costs is coveniently ignoring the multiplicative factors of 6-10 extra expansions placed. 30-50 aw levels between temple of spirit, vallorian seal tower, scout tavern etc.,

But yeah. Safe to ignore formulae and just enjoy the game. If you are happy with 8-10k tournament scores.

And I agree with @schadenfreude .The structural format of the formula is same but the weighing factors are mildly tuned. I’m trying to figure it out. By counting techs and AW levels per week and subsequent changes in spire and tournament squad sizes.
 

Jake65

Sorcerer
@JollyElf what aspect makes the weeks differ in difficulty?
Are the enemy troops 'weaker' in marble week? Or is my squad size a higher ratio to theirs than in, say, planks week?
 

Jake65

Sorcerer
unless we're talking Enar's Embassy, of course
I've never paid much attention to this one until now. Always just meh'd and moved on.
Looking at it again, I realise it's the AW equivalent of an "it's the thought that counts" gift :D
 

JollyElf

Soothsayer
@JollyElf what aspect makes the weeks differ in difficulty?
Are the enemy troops 'weaker' in marble week? Or is my squad size a higher ratio to theirs than in, say, planks week?
Marble: It’s just high range troops backed by attack boosters making it much easier(I mean lower losses) than others.

Those weeks where melee troops are used more, losses will be more which you can “mildly” offset with health boosters.

Other than that, there’s no increase in difficulty anywhere. Just losses are different …
 

Laurelin

Scholar
Well, I tried for a brief reply, and failed catastrophically! So this is a long but still info-centric reply - not my usual rambling, promise! :D

Here goes...

@Jake65 @JollyElf : The 2020 Combat Formula is universally applied in both the Spire (where it was first introduced, and which has always used it) and also, since August 2020, in Tournaments. It is not now and never has been relevant to World Map Province battles or Catering costs, which are now the only real purpose of knowing one's base / Barracks Squad Size, and which therefore become comparatively easier and cheaper as the game progresses and one's City becomes more powerful overall - although, of course, of much less importance to most players who have any interest in Squad Sizes/Catering costs in the Spire & Tournament. Even in Spire & Tourney, though, the City's base Squad Size is not entirely irrelevant - because almost every City parameter forms part of the City Advancement Level, or CAL, which in turn is the base figure - varying between almost all Cities beyond the game's earliest stages - upon which the Formula's calculations, in their turn, operate.

The Combat Formula has no different type of effect upon any type of Enemy or player Troop Unit/Squad type combinations per se.

As far as 'difficulty' goes - it's sometimes pointed out, and of course it's true in literal/mathematical terms, that larger Squad Sizes alone don't increase the actual skill-related difficulty of the battles. However, many players, often including myself, generally use the term 'difficulty' to describe the overall player effort required to produce the number of Troops and/or amount of Goods needed to sustain the increasing costs of Spire & Tournament Squad & Catering Sizes as each of those progresses each week as per the Formula's mechanics - which, in the end, will of course be fundamentally limited, as is everything in the game, by various core City factors [Supplies is a significant one] and also the player's available online time - something which can be overlooked as a 'cost' of supporting high Spire/Tourney costs, but shouldn't be, in my opinion.

But the Formula itself doesn't vary weekly (or ever), nor directly affect Combat difficulty in terms of "How much skill is needed to win any given battle?" - it affects only the Squad Sizes & rate of increase thereof, both on a week-to-week basis as one's City CAL alters (and typically grows, of course, as one improves one's City) and on a Province-by-Province basis in each Tourney, as well - and it therefore dictates the number of Troops needed and potentially lost, per battle per week - and also the Catering (or Diplomacy) costs, of course. For me, though using the shortcut term 'difficulty' - even if a bit controversial in some circumstances - is a near-universally-understood way of expressing all of this...! :)

And finally, as far as I'm aware, the make-up of Enemy Squad combinations in Spire & Tournament hasn't significantly altered ever since it was changed at the point when the Formula was introduced (well - there have been a few minor alterations to Spire combinations, notably to make them more likely, within the random generation of Enemy Squads, to feature a 3+2 type of arrangement whereby you'll often see 3 × x type of Enemy Unit plus 2 × y type - e.g. 3 x Mage plus 2 x Heavy Ranged, as an off-the-cuff [and a bit tricky!] example - rather than entirely random assortments, which are often more difficult to counter without losses).

For info : Inno certainly have been quietly experimenting with the Enemy Unit combos in the Tournament - I myself have, I am sure, seen at least two Tournaments in the past six months where my own Enemy Squad combos [and Terrain in some cases, too - interestingly] have radically departed from the post-2020 norm - but whether or not they will ever implement some, any, or all of those changes remains to be seen. On a purely selfish level, though, as a Manual Combat player who likes to use all my available Troop types if I can, I hope so - assuming that the two non-standard Tourneys I personally saw were any guide. Not only were the Enemy Squad combos easier to deal with for Manual Combat players (and perhaps Auto-Combat, too? - not least because the AI finally seems to be being revised to account for ALL player Troop types, not only specifically 3* Merc Camp Units, which in my experience are the only type which it understands and assumes players & AI will both use)... but who can say, where companies use silent unannounced tests rather than the boring old traditional open Beta testing route? ;)

My most current info on which Enemy Units will be seen in any given Tourney type (and the Spire tends to follow a similar weekly pattern, too, albeit with more randomness) remains pretty reliable, and is shown in the chart below - which was produced by a Beta player called Dony. He is (was? - hasn't been seen for over a year...) arguably one of the game's foremost Combat experts (and certainly one of its most studious and active followers, mathematical analysts & bug-reporters, and practitioners, with much Beta content and even YouTube strategy videos to show for it).

Here is Dony's YouTube Channel (NOT affiliated with InnoGames) - hey, why not watch a real expert fight with Squad Sizes of up to 100K !! :D

Dony produced this chart when the 2020 Formula was introduced, which is the point when the Tournament Enemy Squad composition was changed - and when some of the Map Province Units were removed entirely from Tournaments. I have seen no further info about this, and my in-game observations show that, outside of Inno's silent A/B testing of recent months, they are still using the same predominant Unit combos shown (within the always-random generation of Enemy Squad types)... and may well continue to do so, for all I know as a mere player!

EMPHASIS : As stated, the varying weekly Enemy Squad combinations are somewhat randomised, but the chart below is at least a good guide.

Here: you go:

New_Tournaments_Main_Troops_Types_Dony_Beta_Thread.png
 
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Laurelin

Scholar
@JollyElf : Is it fair to say that Light Melee Troops are generally weak, though, in Elvenar? The exception for me, and only rarely and situationally, is the Dog-type Units, which compensate for the general inferiority of Melee Troops only by having such a long Move - and even then, the fact that all Melee Units need to put themselves directly in the way of the Enemy's full retaliation (if any, i.e. if they aren't one-shotted - and including Strikeback, if applicable) means that without multiple health boosters, they are almost always out-performed in any non-trivial battle even by apparently less suitable Units, if one considers only the Combat Pentagram.

Even Heavy Melee - and within those, even Paladins and Vallorians, with their influential Strike-2 and/or Strikeback abilities - are so routinely outclassed, primarily by Mages, secondly by Golems (for Elves only of course), and so slow to actually REACH the Enemy, that again, other than in rare situations such as when facing [only some!] all-HR, all-LM, or HR/HM-only Enemy line-ups, they are typically near-disposable Units - whether for early Tourney Rounds where just about any player Units will win (especially Provinces 1-5, because of the 1* Enemy Units), or [rarely] for distracting their 'preferred' Enemy Unit(s) away from more useful player Units. Well, you can also use them as damage-soakers, too, on those very rare occasions where the Combat Map Terrain will allow them to block the Enemy from homing in on Units which are actually useful! Haha :D

NB : That's why even in Ch.13, I still see no real benefit to the Heroes' Forge. Am I wrong? Does it have hidden powers...?! Advice welcome! :)
 

Jake65

Sorcerer
NB : That's why even in Ch.13, I still see no real benefit to the Heroes' Forge. Am I wrong? Does it have hidden powers...?!
First off, thanks for the detailed comment, read it top to bottom a couple of times :)

I'm chapter 15, auto fight on mobile. I found HR troops to be quite 'soft' so I built the toad AW and took it up to level 30. Huge improvement!!
So I figured I might as well also buff my HM troops and proceeded to build the Forge. It's at level 26 so far and has helped but not as noticeably as the Toad did for HR.
A useful bonus though is at level (can't remember exactly) it produces more orcs per tile than an orc nest so it can become a space saver as a side-effect.
I trust (hope?) that any negative effect of the extra AW levels is far surpassed by the buffing of the troops.

I'm now considering the wonder to buff LM troops as they seem to have very glassy jaws. But I'm not sure yet.
 

Laurelin

Scholar
The 2020 Combat Formula is universally applied in both the Spire [...] and [...] Tournaments. It is not [...] relevant to World Map Province battles or Catering costs, which are now the only real purpose of knowing one's base / Barracks Squad Size, and which therefore become comparatively easier and cheaper as the game progresses and one's City becomes more powerful overall [...]
... and because of this, the Tooltip (image below) which appears on every Squad Size Upgrade in the Research/Tech Tree is now even more misleading, in terms of Tournament and Spire battles, than it was back when the usual Combat-related controversy was not: "Should I consider parking my City [usually in Ch. 3-5, 8 or 15/16]? - or at least bear the Formula's effects in mind while building it?", but was instead: "Should I complete some/any/all Optional Squad Size Researches?" - which, pre-2020, was the largest player-controllable factor of real influence upon Tournament Squad Sizes (and ? associated Catering costs - I'm not sure on that - I've never been a Caterer, and it wasn't much discussed anyway).

Back in the present, though - this always rather disingenuous Tooltip is now, as I say, even more misleading, because the Formula influences Squad Sizes and Catering costs far more strongly than Optional Research ever did - and also because most non-specialist Cities, if only because Scouting durations become so lengthy, don't typically either open or complete Provinces very fast after the mid-game point, but they DO generally continue to participate in Tourney and/or Spire.

Even new and/or pre-Guest Race Cities (whether playing solo or in FSs) usually participate in Tourney and/or Spire to some extent if they can, not least because Inno heavily promotes the Spire both in-game and out of it, and the fact that the new Research Tree prohibits [entirely] new players from participating in either until Ch.2 or 3 for Tourney (not sure) and Ch.5 for Spire (again, I think?), which is of course after they've got used to believing that the Tooltip is true for Map Provinces, must surely make it an even more baffling surprise when it turns out to be the reverse of the truth outside of Map Province battles (which, let's face it, aren't much of a problem for anyone beyond about the Ch.8 Orcs & Goblins point)?

Side note : Inno themselves obviously find the term 'easy' applicable to 'size of Squads', where Combat is concerned... it's not only us players! :D

Squad_Size_Upgrade_Tech_Tooltip_Research_Tree.jpg


IMO this should be changed urgently, even if Inno won't admit (outside of the Forums) that the Combat Formula even exists, let alone how it works.
 

JollyElf

Soothsayer
That's why even in Ch.13, I still see no real benefit to the Heroes' Forge. Am I wrong? Does it have hidden powers...?! Advice welcome! :)
Yes. I did delete a decently leveled hf in 2020. I used to rarely use hm, so it benefits only those battles whereas increasing the cost of all battles… And the benefit is additive (not multiplicative) to fire Phoenix. So an increase from 150% attack to 156% (say) is not a 6% increase but a 4% increase.

A bit more useful to a human city than an elf city. As the free barrack hm from PoP doesn’t suffer from strike back.

With decent health boosters usage, recently vallorians have been performing quite well on some strange enemy combinations at high provinces. Also orc hm have been pretty decent in some combinations. Probably after building the shrine of champions to high levels, and (only) if you login every 3 hours, there would be more incentive to build a hf.

For now, I manage around 15k average (unless I’m traveling or bored and/or lack of provinces) and do quite well without a hf.

@Jake65 toads is a different story as I use frogs extensively. As it’s high ranged. And every attack boost to a high range unit is more essential than short / no range units.

Lm seems to have been mildly reworked behind the scenes. Drones and dogs aren’t exactly useless (with a couple of da or something like that). Dwarven bulwark is just for 1-2 days training time to make up for long absences (in a parking city). Vic spring, after they introduced simultaneous training in all 3 buildings. Otherwise lm isn’t exactly essential for combat but these days useful in a few instances…
 
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Jake65

Sorcerer
And every attack boost to a high range unit is more essential than short / no range units
So I should probably build the Needles?
I figured there wasn't much point as I can craft ELRs to boost them.
Then again, they would stack. Back to the virtual drawing board.....
 

JollyElf

Soothsayer
So I should probably build the Needles?
I figured there wasn't much point as I can craft ELRs to boost them.
Then again, they would stack. Back to the virtual drawing board.....
Needles is very much worth it as both the benefits of the aw are good.

1. having a 140% attack is equivalent to a permanent 1.6 elr.
And rangers are one of the most utilised unit. So though costs of all battles are increased, many battles are boosted by it.
2. Faster barracks training time. Always welcome. You can use those barrack troops (or free barrack troops from AWs ) upto province 20 (or 30), depending on boosters and tournament type, in which case you can probably think of those 2700-5400 points as free tournament points. (As they only cost you in supplies for training in barrack)

I predominantly use barracks to train lr. And a handful of golems just for keepsakes. Barrack lr can be a very good substitute when dryads and rangers stocks are on a dry spell.

Crafting: Going around 70-80 provinces, people use 3-4+ elr (and others) every 2 weeks (polar bear + time warp). crafting so many might not be sustainable (can run out of spire diamonds to re roll ma) thereby making needles more essential in those cases.
 
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Jake65

Sorcerer
Needles is very much worth it as both the benefits of the aw are good.

1. having a 140% attack is equivalent to a permanent 1.6 elr.
And rangers are one of the most utilised unit. So though costs of all battles are increased, many battles are boosted by it.
2. Faster barracks training time. Always welcome. You can use those barrack troops (or free barrack troops from AWs ) upto province 20 (or 30), depending on boosters and tournament type, in which case you can probably think of those 2700-5400 points as free tournament points. (As they only cost you in supplies for training in barrack)

I predominantly use barracks to train lr. And a handful of golems just for keepsakes. Barrack lr can be a very good substitute when dryads and rangers stocks are on a dry spell.

Crafting: Going around 70-80 provinces, people use 3-4+ elr (and others) every 2 weeks (polar bear + time warp). crafting so many might not be sustainable (can run out of spire diamonds to re roll ma) thereby making needles more essential in those cases.
Thanks for this, appreciate the advice.
Starting Needles construction in 3...2...1.... :)
 

schadenfreude

Conjurer
But the Formula itself doesn't vary weekly (or ever), nor directly affect Combat difficulty in terms of "How much skill is needed to win any given battle?" - it affects only the Squad Sizes & rate of increase thereof, both on a week-to-week basis as one's City CAL alters (and typically grows, of course, as one improves one's City) and on a Province-by-Province basis in each Tourney, as well - and it therefore dictates the number of Troops needed and potentially lost, per battle per week - and also the Catering (or Diplomacy) costs, of course. For me, though using the shortcut term 'difficulty' - even if a bit controversial in some circumstances - is a near-universally-understood way of expressing all of this...!
It is true people often confuse the formula with difficulty caused by enemy combo of certain tournaments and it is also true the formula is set at the start of the tourney. But the formula itself has changed. The gist of it is still the same. The variables that influence CAL are the same. However, as @JollyElf stated above, it's the weight factors that affect these variables that got slightly tweaked. Overall, everything is slightly cheaper whether you fight or cater (as they all feed off CAL). You can confirm this if you punch in your stats into the MinMax spreadsheet and compare the projected values with what you see at a certain encounter in the Spire or tournament. The numbers in the spreadsheet are always higher than what I see in the game now. The margin of error from the spreadsheet was significantly lower in years past, which suggests the formula has changed and everything costs slightly less now.

So I should probably build the Needles?
I figured there wasn't much point as I can craft ELRs to boost them.
Then again, they would stack. Back to the virtual drawing board.....
This is probably my favorite wonder. Using LR to rid your screen of pesky enemy mages is one of the most effective fighting combos the game offers. Very few units can kill the enemy in one shot and carry that advantage into the higher provinces too.
 

Silly Bubbles

Illusionist
And the benefit is additive (not multiplicative) to fire Phoenix. So an increase from 150% attack to 156% (say) is not a 6% increase but a 4% increase.

It depends on what base you're using to calculate your percentages. Both are correct. It's a 6% increase from 100% as a base or it's a 4% increase from 150% as a base. Inno's using 100% as a base, that is the value that has no bonuses applied to it.
 

JollyElf

Soothsayer
It depends on what base you're using to calculate your percentages. Both are correct. It's a 6% increase from 100% as a base or it's a 4% increase from 150% as a base. Inno's using 100% as a base, that is the value that has no bonuses applied to it.
For a high chapter city, i did assume fed fire Phoenix as base.
For a beginner city 100% is base.
Thanks for pointing that…

But beginner city will not have access to hf, so the argument is still qualitatively reasonable :)
 
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