Alpha16 Combat Scaling


#1

The combat difficulty in A16 is extremely jolting right now when Orcs and Kobolds show up. You effectively go from really wimpy wolves, golems and goblins that are no trouble for a pair of Footmen to take out - then when you get around 19 or 20 villagers the Orcs and Kobolds start showing up and even with a party of 6 adventurers in maxed-out gear (1 Knight, 1 Cleric, 2 Archers and 2 Footmen) I’ve repeatedly lost whole towns. Along with that, many of these new mobs are one-shotting villagers when they suddenly appear with little warning that they are coming. By the time I can open the Combat panel and click the Alert button 1-2 of my villagers are often already dead. This is in Normal difficulty, not even in the Hard mode.

It feels like there should be more of a curve and ramping-up of the enemy difficulty. We go straight from very easy to very devastating. I have multiple villages of different types with different layouts and strategies and pretty much all of them have been susceptible to this issue in A16. It’s very hard to run a decent town with 20 villagers when 6 or more of them are committed to soldiering. I certainly was forced to learn better strategy in managing my combats (such as charging the kobold archers since they are squishy and do massive DPS), but when 4 archers and 4 kobold wolves come at you and you only have a party of 6 it’s pretty rough and you’ll still likely lose one or two of your warriors. Which is really crippling since there’s another Orc or Kobold attack just around the corner.

Please scale back the early Orc/Kobold raids so we can get more XP or gear before they flatten villages. Or else provide some other methods of improving defense against them such as archer towers or better defenses for villages in general.


#2

The first Kobolds. Aye. I remember that. They didnt show up until i had 24 villagers - then i got an ogre and 5 or 6 Kobolds. Killed two of my footmen, one low level knight and one archer. Wasnt pretty.

I got another cleric, worked on tougher armor for the knights and things got manageable. Firearrows are fantastic btw, for the little buggers dont seem to have any willpower to speak of.

I dont think kobolds are too tough, but the increase in difficulty is a little abrupt. Perhaps there should be a middle-ground - at 12 villagers perhaps - that spawns harder goblins. Hobgoblins, Bugbears, whatever.

For your “villagers die instantly” thinggy. Its a dangerrous world. Try designing your town accordingly to that. Walls, controlled points of entry. We know how the spawn mechanic works - so be sure to let them spawn in some distance from your village. It helps alot.


#3

You guys are on A16?! Even if I have Steam I’m still on A15!


#4

@guardianjohnita1
on steam you can go in to the latest (unstable) build.
go to your steam library, right click on stonehearth. => properties => Beta’s
And select in the dropdown bar Latest.

then just let the game update and you can play it too.


#5

You have my thanks:)


#6

I think it’s partly that you seem to go from 0 enemy archers to 6 enemy archers all at once. Up till then you’re always at rough numbers parity with the enemy; suddenly you’re outnumbered 2-1.

The other issue is that tactically it’s hard to keep your footmen from running in solo and getting burned down by all the archers at once.


#7

I agree completely.

I think the better way to introduce the NPC classes is as companions to blander, simpler encounters. There’s a model in the assets for an entling mage that would probably be a good early example of a cleric class. If we introduce some ranged class enemy as a minor part of the earlier encounters, it becomes more likely that players will stumble upon the proper counter on their own - without having to lose their army, quit, look at a wiki, reload, and retrain every time they need to learn a new combat mechanic.

In any case that is a big spike in the curve that’s sure to be sanded down eventually.


#8

Just wanted to post a minor update: I’ve been playing through a Rayya/Desert game and while I was overly cautious about connecting to the outside and kept a larger contingent of soldiers compared to past plays, I noticed that the enemy attacks scaled much more smoothly. I am not sure if it was a difference in the map or the race, but basically when the Kobold archers and wolves started attacking at around 18 hearthlings, they only came in half-size forces compared to Ascendency/Temperate. That is to say, 2 archers and 2 wolves. Which was completely manageable. Of course, by then I had 2 of each soldier class and I found that even just having two Clerics made most fights totally trivial. They can heal through just about any damage, esp if you have a knight or two next to them pulling aggro and soaking dmg.

I will try another Ascendency/Temperate play-through with more soldiers and a focus on getting them XP prior to taking my 18th hearthling and see how it goes.


#9

You might just have lucked out there – in my game with Rayya’s I’m up to 25 hearthlings and in between 15 and 25 I saw several full-size Kobold groups.

The groups themselves are manageable if you can engage them army vs. army (especially if you use some tactics like focus-firing etc., and if you know the difficulty spike is coming and prepare for it by training troops in advance).

I’m starting to think the bigger issue with Kobolds is the way they poof into the map suddenly and will ambush lone hearthlings, who then can’t run away because of the kobold’s extremely long range. Having your Knight or Cleric get ganked by a kobold ambush when they’re out of immediate range of other supporting troops can be a fort-ender, and there’s relatively little you can do about it since there are no formation commands.


#10

Yes, the ambushing is definitely an issue. It seems that no matter how tightly I build my base and defenses enemies just seem to magically appear within my walls without warning. We need some sort of sentry posts or early warning system coupled with not allowing enemy squads to spawn inside your settled area. Really, if this is NORMAL difficulty I shudder to think of what the HARD mode is like!


#11

Hard mode is fun :smile: You really need a quick, strong start though.


#12

When i first experienced the Kobolds and Orcs, i already had two knights, one cleric, and four footmen. Usually, the Kobolds only came in three with 1-2 Kobold Wolves that attracted the attention of my knights, due to this the kobold archers were doing devastating damage to my units and so i decided to send one footmen after one of the Kobold archers causing them to run since they were taking damage. This gave my knights time to heal from my Cleric. Once the knights were healed, my cleric went after the footmen who barely took little damage and were still drawing the attention of the archers to keep backing up and shooting them. Once the Kobold wolves were dealt with, my Knights just joined in killing the Archers and everything was fine after that.

The next night though, i had three kobolds wolves and the Tanky Orc. The wolves were the only problem i had since they arrived first due to their fast speed. The wolves were easy to deal with until the Orc showed up. It caught the attention of all my units with its yell and the wolves just did the main damage as the orc just took the beating. The Cleric though was a must-have early since its incredible healing power does a lot; especially a Master Cleric that heals for more.

That was my experienced for my first encounter on the new enemies, i just recently started a new game and i hope to encounter the new enemies once again for the experience of actually using my Units myself instead of just sending them to attack in which case i would just watch.