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Age of Mythology Heaven » Forums » Strategy and General Discussion » A question about RA for the ES folks.
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Topic Subject:A question about RA for the ES folks.
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DClay
Mortal
posted 25 April 2003 00:40 AM EDT (US)         
Are you guys going to give the priest a higher empowerment rate in future patch?? Ra is really pathetic. I've been playing exclusively RA for over a week and all things considered (God powers, econ, military) he is just aweful. Ra is the least used civ and for good reason, has the worse winning percentage with only Zeus even close to losing as much as RA. Ra was designed to be an Econ powerhoue with average God powers but now Ra just has a decent Econ , same crappy GPs , and their unit bonus comes from the expensive Migdol. I just find it hard to beleive that you guys STILL think RA is just fine and dandy. There is only one change We want thats all we ask ONE CHANGE. increase the priest empowerment rate 10% is too low. 15% or 20% should be more like it.
AuthorReplies:
Mark_Aurel
Mortal
posted 25 April 2003 06:31 PM EDT (US)     61 / 89       
Ok, there seems to be a lot of rooks here that likes to play an unbalanced game.

Right now, Ra has the weakest civ bonuses in the game.

Mokon - you say that ES are such expert playtesters - then how come Set is the way he is right now? They obviously went a couple of steps too far in making him better in a previous patch. Is it really so unlikely they also went too far in nerfing Ra? Maybe they thought that it was better to be a bit harsh, than to not do enough, and end up with people still complaining about the Ra FH?

10% priest empowering is very little. On paper, this looks like an econ upgrade in terms of power and cost - which is really a fallacy. An econ upgrade will affect all vills on that resource throughout the game, without any additional micro, and it will also reduce walking time by 33% or 25%. The next hidden cost is the loss of scouting - Ra has the worst scouting in the game by far when he can't really use his pharaoh to scout in good conscience; the difference between an empowering priest and an empowering pharaoh is pretty significant. Next, the optimal time at which to empower is early - the earlier, the better. Earlier in the game, a little extra resources means a much more than later on. Since ES also reduced the farming rate, scouting is now more important for Ra - he's as hunting-dependent as any civ.

So, how much is the value of the priest empowerment? It can theorethically have a negative value if you miss some hunting spots because of poor scouting. Early scouting is important for map control anyway. If Ra chooses to scout, however, he's essentially delaying his civ bonus - which means it gets less and less valuable. If you don't understand the importance of map control, you probably aren't a very good player. Ra has the worst map control of any civ in the game - period. Ok, back to the value question - what is it worth? 1 per 10 resources dropped off. Seems simple enough. It's a 3-in-1 bonus - resource sites last longer, you get more resources, and you save a miniscule amount of walking time in switching between resources. All that for 100 gold - and 2 pop. The latter is very significant - once you get to mid-heroic or so, priest empowerment doesn't pay off popwise anymore (it never actually does, it's just that the cost is a necessary evil earlier on) - in fact, you may be forced to dump it earlier on in order to free up pop space so you won't get outmassed (again, if you don't understand exactly how important mass is in this game, you're probably not a very good player). So there's a phase between about 2 minutes and 15 minutes where empowerment pays off - beyond that, adding more vills is simply better. Of course, as vills get more econ upgrades, they can walk a bit further and still show a general increase in gathering power; in general, though, once you get past 5-6 vills, empowerment becomes less and less profitable. It probably pays off more to build extra gathering sites around a resource instead - which is something any Egyptian can do.

So, between 2 and 15 minutes, Ra can empower with priests and gain a profit - however, you need to consider that he also has no scouting for that - and, there's a time to recover the cost of a priest. How long that is is variable - in general, though, it tends to be a bit too long - you need to gather 1000 gold or its equivalent before you break even. How long does it take to gather that? I'd say you'll break even around 8-10 minutes if you made a priest and scouted with your first one; otherwise, of course, the only cost is the loss of scouting and map control (which can hurt even more). In the phase that it takes to break even, Ra will tend to suffer a lot - especially against civs with better god powers, or civs that get their bonuses up front - like, just about any other civ except Zeus or Hades. The fact that Ra is behind in that phase of the game means that come the next phase, he's playing catch-up with a very small bonus.

It may sound like I'm exaggerating here - I am, to an extent - Ra still is a civ, and he still makes units. It's just that he's effectively without a significant civ bonus. He gets cheaper monuments. He gets empowerment. He gets slightly better migdol units. Cheaper monuments is nice - but you won't be able to afford more than the first two at most before classical anyway. Generally, you save about 12 food and 12 gold. Then you get a boost of about 50 gold from empowerment at most until you hit classical. By comparison, Isis' civ bonus amounts to a savings on every obelisk built, a savings on every tech, and a savings on the againg advance itself - as well as the ability to delay housing a bit (which enables you to gather a little more resources a little earlier, which will let you upgrade a little faster), and then an up front classical god power and the ability to deflect god powers. Make no mistake, Isis isn't very good either, but she's better than Ra - the cheaper techs probably amounts to more than what the priest empowerment does in most games - and when she also gets better god powers, she can basically do anything Ra can do better - with a couple of possible exceptions.

I won't even begin to compare with Set, because Set is just screwed up right now - thanks to the same patch that nerfed Ra, or one patch later (don't quite remember, and it doesn't quite matter).

Once you get right down to the math of it, Ra is too weak - and that's the reason he's played so little among the good players in AoM. By 'good players' I mean 1900+ or so; I'm the only player I know who routinely actually plays Ra at that level right now.

What I'd expect from ES is simply that they either increase the empowerment rate again, or nerf every other civ in the game to be at Ra's level. Otherwise, they may as well remove the civ from the game. I also hope they don't listen too much to the 1600s-1700s that post on this forum a lot and think they 'know stuff' like Mokon - I know that sounds awfully arrogant, but I think it takes a certain level of competency to 'get' the game balance properly. I have some respect for the current testers at ES (especially Moongoat), but I think there are people that would do a better job out there - that can't or won't take the job for various reasons. I also remember that when Gx_Iron (who left ES a while ago, but was one of the more important testers before) learned of the Ra nerf, he said - "they reduced it to 10%? What a lamo civ bonus."

The thing is, ES effectively broke both of Ra's knees, when just breaking one should've been enough - just like they gave Set both a bat and a knife, when a knife would be enough (i.e. double whammies). ES should've *either* nerfed the migdol bonus or the empowerment, not both.

Just to show a comparison - Odin would be a lame civ indeed with a 10% hunting bonus (which would still be more useful most games than 10% empowerment) and 10% hill fort bonus.

I think ES stated before releasing AoM that they'd increased a lot of the values in the game from a low point in the alphas, in order to make the game more fun again - I remember that several bonuses in the alphas were lower or higher. In any case, right now, Ra just isn't fun - he doesn't have any fun bonuses. Full priest empowerment is fun - and he gets bad god powers to more than compensate, as well as the civ bonuses other civs get.

Artemis_Fowl
Mortal
posted 25 April 2003 06:32 PM EDT (US)     62 / 89       

Quoted from goodbaby:

I dont want to talk about the cheap units,since by cheap,they are weak.By weak,you can say they counter,for counter,i say you can counter counter..... etc.

Slingers can kill whole armies of archers/TA....Slingers/Priests in back, axemen/CA/camels in front + myth units....call that weak units?


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Mokon
Mortal
posted 25 April 2003 06:37 PM EDT (US)     63 / 89       
First of all while i am not a expert i am not in the 1600's

Quote:

you say that ES are such expert playtesters - then how come Set is the way he is right now?

Yes they are expert playtesters.... and yes set is overpowered but Ra is balanced they make mistakes but ra wasn't one of them....

thanx mokon


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  • goodbaby
    Mortal
    posted 25 April 2003 06:46 PM EDT (US)     64 / 89       
    Artemis_Fowl:Sadly to say that
    I said I ddidnt want to talk about units in this thread.

    If you use archers/Tas to kill slingers,that's your fault.
    If I have CA+Camel+Axe,you can have pelpast+Prodomos+Archer to counter that.

    Weak mean comparing with similar units,egypt units are weak.
    For example: spearman vs hoplite, Spearman is cheaper but weaker.
    Spearman vs ulfsark,they are weaker but cheaper.

    CA and camel is not anything related to cheap,so they are not weak.

    End of story.If want to talk about egypt units,get a new thread.

    Mokon
    Mortal
    posted 25 April 2003 06:51 PM EDT (US)     65 / 89       
    Yes egy rax units are weak but the a cheap with the egy eco.

    however their mig units are extremely strong
    They also are produced a lot faster

    CA+Camel+Axe,will toast pelpast+Prodomos+Archer the CA and cams are reg units and fair better vs all types while on the greek side only archer are regular


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  • Mark_Aurel
    Mortal
    posted 25 April 2003 06:52 PM EDT (US)     66 / 89       

    Quote:

    Yes they are expert playtesters.... and yes set is overpowered but Ra is balanced they make mistakes but ra wasn't one of them....

    thanx mokon

    What *proof* can you offer apart from the fact that you *say so?*

    I don't think the ES playtesters are "experts" in the sense that they'd be the best at the game if they played - they're good players, they understand RTS, and they're able to communicate well and work in a team. Those are the basic qualifications. They're not necessarily the most technically excellent playtesters ES could've gotten - they're the best that ES could get under the circumstances that also fulfilled the listed requirements. They're not bad. But I do think there are people that could do a better job - there almost always is. They just aren't available, or it's not possible for them to work there. I'd say that the ES team are playtesters, period - not "expert" at it. And they make mistakes, just like everyone else.

    Most importantly, though - what proof, apart from your opinion, can you offer that ES didn't nerf Ra too much? Can you show me math that shows that Ra is theorethically and practically balanced? Can you show me recent expert recorded games with Ra, where there isn't a big skill discrepancy, or where the players involved didn't play random? As far as I can tell, you're just using your own opinion as an argument - "I think Ra is ok, I don't think ES made a mistake." Keep repeating that often enough, and someone may believe you - but you're not really providing any substantial proof as to why the Ra civ bonus and minor god combinations are competitive. I'd be grateful if you did that, instead of repeating the same short opinion.

    goodbaby
    Mortal
    posted 25 April 2003 06:56 PM EDT (US)     67 / 89       
    I think i have asked mokon to provide something related with figures,logic but he failed to do anything.
    Mark_Aurel
    Mortal
    posted 25 April 2003 06:57 PM EDT (US)     68 / 89       

    Quote:

    CA+Camel+Axe,will toast pelpast+Prodomos+Archer the CA and cams are reg units and fair better vs all types while on the greek side only archer are regular

    Bull. Prodromos eats camels. Archers and peltasts both eat CA and axemen. Toxotes are cost effective against CA in a straight field battle. Why on earth you'd throw axemen against two units that counter it and one that it doesn't counter or gets countered by, is beyond me. Do you understand the basic unit relationships, or was that just a simple typo?

    Mokon
    Mortal
    posted 25 April 2003 06:59 PM EDT (US)     69 / 89       
    Well swinger WAS a playtester for es and he is an expert

    they have special tools to playtest with which none of use have and they know why every thing was done so-so

    I am using my game expirence as "proof" while i admit is isnt the best but from my expirence ra can still do a good FH, defending vs the poseidon rush (which i do) and get the appropiate armies.

    The only reason so many people think ra is overpowered is cause loki and set, the more popular ones currently, counter his FH. He still is very good vs the other strats

    thanx mokon


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  • Mokon
    Mortal
    posted 25 April 2003 07:00 PM EDT (US)     70 / 89       
    i was useing gb's anologiy

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  • goodbaby
    Mortal
    posted 25 April 2003 07:04 PM EDT (US)     71 / 89       
    I am answering Artemis_Fowl's challenge.
    Mokon
    Mortal
    posted 25 April 2003 07:17 PM EDT (US)     72 / 89       
    ok i did a test

    I took 10 CA and 10 Cams vs 10 prodromes 8 Toxotes and 7 Pletast and did a bounch of test with them...... With mirco Ra one with about ten units left every time.... I also mircoed the greek and it was about the same......

    for the ai i used Zycats Battle Machine Zeta which does militart count micro


    thanx mokon


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  • goodbaby
    Mortal
    posted 25 April 2003 07:19 PM EDT (US)     73 / 89       
    None tester can be better than the global players.
    It's in real games players can find out the Drop trick bug,the unfinished buildings LOS bug,ALT-Tab crash bug,kraken imbalance...etc.
    The statistics of the global players are far better data than the testers can get through their limited skill and time.
    Mokon
    Mortal
    posted 25 April 2003 07:21 PM EDT (US)     74 / 89       
    there jobs are to do this...... they play for hours.... yes they dont get all but they get most

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  • goodbaby
    Mortal
    posted 25 April 2003 07:21 PM EDT (US)     75 / 89       
    10 prodomos beat 10 camels.
    peltast and toxetes will beat CAs.If you microed,greek combo obviously will win.I dont know how did you do you test but your result seems false.
    BSR
    Mortal
    posted 25 April 2003 07:39 PM EDT (US)     76 / 89       
    My opinion isn't worth much in this thread ... I almost never played Ra before or after 1.03, but: ditto every single thing Mark_Aurel said. His post is by far the most logical I've seen recently in this thread, as well as having a healthy dose of realism.

    In particular, the people who design and who play-test a game are almost never the best players. They usually establish a good baseline, but ultimately it's the truly talented game players of the world who will feel out the true balance (or lack thereof) in an RTS. Those are the people whose opinions matter, which have real weight.

    If any of the ES crew happen to be scanning this thread, they have to drop any pretense of "hey, we made this game, we know what we're doing." Game designers are always too close to the problem to really see it, having spent too much time playing games "how they're supposed to be played" and using tools instead of spending a scad of hours online in ruthless competitive play.

    I'm far, far from the most skilled AoMer, but it's not hard to identify the people who are, and to discount their advice on balance tuning is a dangerous arrogance that will only result in Ra's permanent residence on the scrap heap. Paying attention to only those saying "it's fine the way it is" may be gratifying, but it's not productive.

    Tha's all,
    BSR

    Mark_Aurel
    Mortal
    posted 25 April 2003 07:55 PM EDT (US)     77 / 89       

    Quote:

    I took 10 CA and 10 Cams vs 10 prodromes 8 Toxotes and 7 Pletast and did a bounch of test with them...... With mirco Ra one with about ten units left every time.... I also mircoed the greek and it was about the same......

    What exactly was the purpose of this test? It sounds pretty irrelevant to me in terms of balance testing. In a real game, the Greek army you're describing will win hands down, unless there's a significant difference in upgrades, or you're fighting under some heavy building fire. Prodromos beats camels better than CA beats prodromos and toxotes and peltasts in that mix will trash the CA.

    Ok - Swinger is my friend, and I respect him - he's also a good player (but I own him, of course ~~) - and he did an excellent job playtesting. However, he's not one of the current ES playtesters. Point is - the ES playtesters aren't the best of the best; they're good, they understand RTS, but they generally aren't the types that play 17 hours a day and try to make a living as "pro gamers" in the sense that they aspire to be supreme - they're very good, but not "the best" - call them second tier, if you wish. They're still better qualified for the job than many better players, for reasons of language, nationality, prior obligations, or communications issues. People that play a lot of computer games tend to become ... weird, and not be all that good at real life actual work that playtesting is. Those aren't the types that get hired (I think).

    You still aren't offering anything except for your opinion, there - isn't it enough to state it once if it's all you have to offer? One would almost suspect a personal agenda otherwise...

    DeaconRien
    Mortal
    posted 25 April 2003 08:15 PM EDT (US)     78 / 89       

    Quoted from Mark_Aurel:

    The thing is, ES effectively broke both of Ra's knees, when just breaking one should've been enough - just like they gave Set both a bat and a knife, when a knife would be enough (i.e. double whammies). ES should've *either* nerfed the migdol bonus or the empowerment, not both.

    lol, that was probably the best words I have seen used to describe exactly what ES did.

    I completely agree with Mark_Aurel...

    And as I said before,, I have done it, I played Ra for the last 2 weeks (I use to FH with him before 1.03). He flat out needs help.

    Moken, I really hope your right about Ra not being suited for my playing style cause I completely threw away my ratings trying to prove to my clan he was still viable.

    He can still compete but he must get to Mythic or late Heroic to become a deep threat. I would advise playing him in Team games,


    Zone Name= DeaconRien
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    Cheesewiz
    HG Alumnus
    posted 26 April 2003 00:17 AM EDT (US)     79 / 89       
    Wow this is one heck of a thread, full of facts and info, and LIES, ra was the best civ before the patch by a long shot, now he is usable, but not fh applicable to the extect that it was. It is as a good a civ as any with the right player, ra plays differently than the other civs(as it's supposed to be) you have to get used to it, get over it, and reason. Wanna know why Ra has the lowest winning percentage? Cus no one in the upper ranks still plays him( even tho the top 20 is ful of em, they don't play no more anyway) and ra players are mainly new people who usually don't know how to play him. Thank you had to let off some steam.

    Ex-Seraph Cheesewiz - Former WICH Webmaster, AOE3H Webmaster, & RTWH Staff, HeavenGames LLC
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    Mark_Aurel
    Mortal
    posted 26 April 2003 01:26 AM EDT (US)     80 / 89       
    That's a bad post, cheesewiz. I don't quite see what you mean by "LIES" there; seems pretty insulting to me.

    Yep, Ra was the best civ overall prior to being patched. And now he's the worst. AoM has always been a pretty well-balanced game; nuking Ra like they did had serious impact.

    Next, as to your statements about Ra's relative power - "it is as good a civ as any with the right player." Bull. I bet you don't think Set is too good either, right? "The right player can counter it," after all. If you're going to make a statement about Ra's relative power, at least back it up with the facts you base your opinion on, rather than just stating that so and so is true. I could say that "it is my opinion that the world is flat" and stoop to your level here.

    Next, let's take a look at how much your opinion is actually worth - I checked ESO - if you're cheesewiz there as well? - rating 1555, you play Odin and Loki. If you don't even play the civ, how can you know how good it is? I'm not going to dismiss you out of hand if that's your rating - but I'm not going to take what you say about game balance at face value either - you need to provide some facts if I am to take you with even a hint of credibility here.

    Your "steam" indicates that more than anything, you're not seeing this in a rational fashion.

    goodbaby
    Mortal
    posted 26 April 2003 11:39 AM EDT (US)     81 / 89       
    Except some assumption and guess,nothing else can be found from cheesewiz's post.
    Cheesewiz
    HG Alumnus
    posted 26 April 2003 04:31 PM EDT (US)     82 / 89       
    corrections from the prior post by Mark_Aurel

    First of all i am rated 1608, not 1555 as he said, i no longer use that name he checked, i use cheese_wiz

    Second i said most in there many times, not to say that all people can play ra.

    Third: in another name(not cheesewiz or cheese_wiz), i do have some ra games with a few games from loki, and in there i am about a 1550, needless to say, i can not play eggies at all, but many others can.

    Fourth: i don't see how your flaming of my post makes yours any better.

    And Finally: I would like to apoligize for not providing any facts, as you so recomend, maybe if everyone one was like Mark, the world would be better

    Thank you, i prefer my credibility not to be crushed by one misguided post by another forumer.


    Ex-Seraph Cheesewiz - Former WICH Webmaster, AOE3H Webmaster, & RTWH Staff, HeavenGames LLC
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    [This message has been edited by cheesewiz (edited 04-26-2003 @ 04:37 PM).]

    WK_WOLF
    Mortal
    posted 26 April 2003 06:42 PM EDT (US)     83 / 89       
    Ra does need a boost. Eggies in general are pretty powerful. Isis is just right, Set is overpowered, but Ra needs a boost, not much though. I think his empowerment should be raised from 10% back up to 20%. This will make priest effective once again.

    -eX_WOLF
    goodbaby
    Mortal
    posted 26 April 2003 07:26 PM EDT (US)     84 / 89       
    that's all.
    Ra's 44% winning rate need got a boost.
    Set need be toned down a little.
    Isis is ok.
    Cheesewiz
    HG Alumnus
    posted 27 April 2003 00:00 AM EDT (US)     85 / 89       
    ok wolf, finally a good idea make his empowering better(15-20%), and drop set a tad. That's all that needs to be done, no ubering.
    just a note, i was only calling a few of the previous posts false, many of them were in fact true and acturate

    Ex-Seraph Cheesewiz - Former WICH Webmaster, AOE3H Webmaster, & RTWH Staff, HeavenGames LLC
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    [This message has been edited by cheesewiz (edited 04-27-2003 @ 12:26 PM).]

    Mark_Aurel
    Mortal
    posted 27 April 2003 12:03 PM EDT (US)     86 / 89       
    Hey cheesewiz, did you even read the previous posts, or were you just speaking out of your ***? I didn't say anything about boosting anything except restoring Ra's empowering to what it should be - and I don't think anyone else did, either.

    What - exactly - is the point of coming into a thread, proclaiming it full of "LIES" and then obviously not even having read the thread at all? If you're going to express your opinion, that's fine - but at least don't try to discredit the rest of the thread at the same time when you haven't even read it.

    What you should do now in the spirit of decency is apologize for calling what other posters have posted "LIES" or provide some proof as to why they "lie."

    YaleHadderity
    Mortal
    posted 27 April 2003 06:35 PM EDT (US)     87 / 89       
    Mark_Auriel:

    I may be one of the "the 1600s-1700s that post on this forum a lot and think they 'know stuff'" but I was wondering if you could address the following comments regarding your previous posts.

    1)

    Quoted from Mark_Auriel:

    By 'good players' I mean 1900+ or so; I'm the only player I know who routinely actually plays Ra at that level right now.

    What is your ESO name, are you on the top 50 on ESO, and can I see some of your rec games as a 1900 post patch Ra?

    2) I think you are discounting Ra's empowerment bonuses too quickly. First, his pharoh still empowers at 25%, more than the other two egyptian civs. And this means Ra pharoh empowered villies are the fastest gatherers in the game (Which is a great bonus in the beginning when the main resource is food).

    3) You indicate that priests aren't pop/cost efficient because they only empower @ 10%. I would argue that you shouldn't build priests only to empower. As Isis, I build preists to kill MU's, heal troops, and build obelisks. When they aren't doing any of those things they are pretty much useless. I like Ra's 10% bonus because when the priest is not doing its normal routine it can be empowering for add'l and faster res., and quicker build times. Tell me why I'm wrong in thinking this way.

    4)

    Quoted from Mark_Auriel:

    Of course, as vills get more econ upgrades, they can walk a bit further and still show a general increase in gathering power; in general, though, once you get past 5-6 vills, empowerment becomes less and less profitable

    I would think that the MORE vills you have on a resource the MORE profitable empowering becomes. I mean 10 vils @ 10% empowering is 10 extra free res; but 20 vills @ 10% emp is 20 in the same time (assuming for purposes of demonstation that villies gather 10 res and then walk back to storehouse). Additionally, you imply that preist empowering is not as useful as an econ upgrade, but then again its not like Ra has to give up his econ upgrades for his empowering. He essentially can have his cake and eat it too.

    All in all I really don't think that Ra's bonuses are "weakest civ bonuses in the game" (consider Hades, Thor and Zeus). It would be foolish to say that Ra is still one of the powerhouse civs, but I honestly can't say that he's completely useless now. I think he was way too easy to win with pre patch, but now it's more of a challenge to win a game with him which turns many plyers off to him and would account for the stats on ESO. Remember the only nerf that were SPECIFIC to Ra were the priest empowerment reduction and smaller HP bonus to migdol units, all others (slower farming, migdol prices, merc nerfs) were an Egypt-wide nerf.



    The breakfast of champions is not a cereal, it's the enemy

    [This message has been edited by YaleHadderity (edited 04-27-2003 @ 08:46 PM).]

    Mark_Aurel
    Mortal
    posted 27 April 2003 09:34 PM EDT (US)     88 / 89       
    Strange, this thread appears to be broken - I couldn't see the last two replies when I opened it until I went to reply to it.

    Quote:

    What is your ESO name, are you on the top 50 on ESO, and can I see some of your rec games as a 1900 post patch Ra?

    My most common ESO name is DaRq_Apostate - 1885 at 90% wins (one of the losses was a 2v2 against Swinger and Chichiri - my partner was to blame, of course ); I have several other ESO names that I'd rather not divulge as of now at 1900 and above. If you want to see one of my games, here's one from the Unknown tourney over at MFO - http://www.mrfixitonline.com/readPosting.asp?PostingId=1269433 - my opponent here is in the 1900-1930 range. I don't really have a lot of games posted - I think KS_Josey_Wales posted a 2v2 with me and RCF_Diamond against him and StorM_Front on his site a while back (see the Loki, Thor or Odin section, I think, sometime in late February or early March) - I was playing Thor that game, though.

    Quote:

    2) I think you are discounting Ra's empowerment bonuses too quickly. First, his pharoh still empowers at 25%, more than the other two egyptian civs. And this means Ra pharoh empowered villies are the fastest gatherers in the game (Which is a great bonus in the beginning when the main resource is food).

    3) You indicate that priests aren't pop/cost efficient because they only empower @ 10%. I would argue that you shouldn't build priests only to empower. As Isis, I build preists to kill MU's, heal troops, and build obelisks. When they aren't doing any of those things they are pretty much useless. I like Ra's 10% bonus because when the priest is not doing its normal routine it can be empowering for add'l and faster res., and quicker build times. Tell me why I'm wrong in thinking this way.

    Yep, the pharaoh is still at 25% - the real problem with that is that it means Ra retains appalling scouting; taking Ra's pharaoh off empowering at any time simply doesn't make sense at all, even to slay MUs. I've discussed the implications of appalling scouting earlier, especially when combined with poor god powers.

    Second, you're also correct about the priest multi-routine thing - the problem with looking at it like that is that you're ignoring a couple of other issues - you generally won't want to be fighting where your econ is, so your priests will be doing shuttle-traffic if you try that, which will involve excessive micromanagement for extremely tiny gains, and generally wastes pop more than anything else - if the fighting occurs in your town, it's another matter, of course, but then it's likely to be early in the game, or you're losing anyway. The problem is really that the priest empowerment isn't valuable enough by itself.

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    I would think that the MORE vills you have on a resource the MORE profitable empowering becomes. I mean 10 vils @ 10% empowering is 10 extra free res; but 20 vills @ 10% emp is 20 in the same time (assuming for purposes of demonstation that villies gather 10 res and then walk back to storehouse). Additionally, you imply that preist empowering is not as useful as an econ upgrade, but then again its not like Ra has to give up his econ upgrades for his empowering. He essentially can have his cake and eat it too.

    No, this is quite wrong - I'll take you through the reasons why. If you have more vills on a resource, that means two things will occur - your vills walk further to dump, and they will bump into each other on the way. Walking time is an extremely important economic concept to understand for RTS mastery - the thing with Egypt is, they get very cheap gathering sites that only cost build time - which essentially means it pays off a lot to build them to save walking time down the road. For example, if you have 20 vills on a single empowered gold mine, the first six or so can be arranged in such a fashion that they will walk very little, if at all. Beyond that, walking time becomes an increasing factor with each additional vill on the resource - the 20th vill on that gold mine will be far less efficient than the first six. For Ra, the implication here is that the first six vills gain a slight bonus - for many of the vills beyond that, the empowerment bonus mainly compensates for the walking time. Beyond that again, it pays off more to build an additional gathering site than to empower with a priest (a pharaoh is a different story). For this reason, it's generally best to build two mining camps at a gold mine if you have more than 10 or so vills at it, even as Ra - the time spent to walk around the gold mine, and around the other vills amounts to more than the empowerment bonus yields in the end. As for the issue of "having your cake and eating it too" - because of the walking time issue, a Ra priest is a bit worse than an econ upgrade; he doesn't both boost gather rate and reduce the time spent walking. Early in the game, when upgrades or empowering mean the most, you're going to be strapped for the resources you need for also advancing and fielding an army fast enough to not get crushed. Of course, Egypt can afford to advance a bit slower most of the time, but you'll still want to be up at a decent time to be competitive. For that reason, you'll have to choose sometimes - and a civ bonus that doesn't see play because of that is a pretty weak civ bonus.

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    All in all I really don't think that Ra's bonuses are "weakest civ bonuses in the game" (consider Hades, Thor and Zeus). It would be foolish to say that Ra is still one of the powerhouse civs, but I honestly can't say that he's completely useless now. I think he was way too easy to win with pre patch, but now it's more of a challenge to win a game with him which turns many plyers off to him and would account for the stats on ESO. Remember the only nerf that were SPECIFIC to Ra were the priest empowerment reduction and smaller HP bonus to migdol units, all others (slower farming, migdol prices, merc nerfs) were an Egypt-wide nerf.

    Also some good points here - however, what you need to consider in this context is that the civ bonuses are, as I think I discussed previously, just one part of the whole picture - another very important part of being a competitive civ is minor gods and god powers. Zeus and Hades both get god powers that are much more useful than Ra's in classical - I'd also argue that their civ bonuses are easier to apply - i.e. Zeus doesn't need to make an additional investment to gather favor faster, and Hades' archer bonus is more generally applicable and useful than the migdol bonus. Shades are also essentially free troops that are balanced (unlike Set's bonus). The hoplite bonus remains useless, of course. Thor has a very interesting playstyle, and I agree that his civ bonuses aren't as good as Odin or Loki's, but I still find Thor to be a better all-around civ than Ra, especially since he has access to some great god powers, especially in heroic (flaming weapons and frost are both game-clinchers or -turners). One thing to consider is the relative value of civ bonuses by translating them to an equivalent economic value. Ra gets cheaper monuments - the first saves 12 food, 12 gold. Priest and increased pharaoh empowerment amounts to a good deal of resources as well throughout archaic - by comparison, Zeus gets 15 favor to begin with - that is effectively equivalent to about 6-10 times that in "normal resources," but not applicable until later. I've been tinkering with converting civ bonuses in this fashion, and in most of the sketches I've made, Ra, Zeus and Hades comes up at the bottom of the pile in terms of "up front" bonuses, while Set and Loki comes up at the top (surprise!).

    Quote:

    I may be one of the "the 1600s-1700s that post on this forum a lot and think they 'know stuff'" but I was wondering if you could address the following comments regarding your previous posts.

    I don't really care about rating that much - I think good arguments and logic are more important. What I find wrong on a lot of levels is when someone who's got a low rating posts an opinion, presents it as a fact, and expects others to bow to his wisdom - not when anyone, regardless of rating, presents a well thought-out argument. There are probably more idiots rated above 1900 who couldn't really express themselves well in a debate than there are at most other levels, for some reason. I think you made an excellent post here, with a lot of valid arguments - I could close by saying - I still play Ra and I still like the civ, and he's viable, but not competitive - you can play him, but it's sort of like trying to enter a car race with a car that has a flat tire. I think there are two different ways of balancing Ra properly - either re-increase his priest empowering, to 15% or 20%, or let him start with an extra priest (this'll solve the early game issues well enough, I think) and give him the ability to make an extra monument (i.e. a sixth monument).

    Skunk
    Mortal
    posted 27 April 2003 11:08 PM EDT (US)     89 / 89       
    damn u guys type heaps

    it took me half the bloody day to get through it all


    http://shorl.com/jarogrujebigri

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