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Age of Mythology Heaven » Forums » Strategy and General Discussion » So it turns out height does have something to do with winning battles...
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Topic Subject:So it turns out height does have something to do with winning battles...
TAG
That AoM Guy
(id: aom expert)
posted 18 September 2015 06:28 PM EDT (US)         
A forummer by the name of Lord Amon has recently rediscovered something that I believe most of us thought was done away with... height bonuses in battle. Turns out this isn't something AoE-exclusive, but is just as real in AoM and our current community of supremacy players should take note.

(Pasted from archived thread in archived forum)

ExCalibur recently discovered that ranged units on higher elevation recieved a damage bonus vs those on lower elevation. Interested, I decided to look through TT's data files to see how much of a bonus this was and what units benefited from it.

A search of the proto file revealed that the damage bonus was due to a parameter, aptly named 'HeightBonusMultiplier', and that it was set at 1.25x damage for all of the following units:

Archers, Heroes, and Infantry
Heroes are not SPC unless stated

Slingers
Throwing Axemen
Pharaohs
Secondary Pharaohs
Peltasts
Toxotes
Priests
Chariot Archers
Arci
Hero Arci
Turmae
Hero Turmae
Gastraphetes
Chiron
Oddyseus
Hyppolyta
Regenlief (SPC)


Buildings

Fortresses
Towers
Town Centers
Citadels
Palaces
Hill Forts
Migdol Strongholds
Bandit Migdols


Myth Units

Trolls
Centaurs
Medusae
Sentinels
Satyrs
Lampades


Siege

Siege Towers



After, discovering this, I decided to test whether the damage done was greater when the height difference was greater.

The test results showed that once the difference in height was above a (then unknown) value, units affected by the parameter would recieve the 1.25x damage bonus. It did not matter how much or how little it was above that height difference, the damage bonus remained constant.

The Test

Notes

  • The Difference between the min and max height in the editor is 20 meters - to quote from gamex.cfg in gamesettings2.bar in the startup folder of AoM -

    // Terrain editing height limits
    terrainMinHeight=-5.0
    terrainMaxHeight=15.0
  • Using the 'Move Map Up' button in the Map Elevation menu in Reyk's New Editor raises the ground up by 1m. I counted how many times it takes to raise the height from the min to the max and then divided it by the height difference. It took 20 clicks to do this. 20/20 = 1 so it raises it by 1m every time.

    Method and Results

    What I Did

    The test involved a modified proto file for convenience. The modifications were as follows:

  • Toxotes HP Changed to 10000
  • Toxotes Attack was changed to 1000
  • Toxotes Hack, Pierce, and Crush armour were reduced to 0

    These changes were so that the toxote would not receive inconvenient amounts of damage such as 6.34.

    After modifying the protox file I proceeded to experiment with changing the height, keeping 1 of the toxotes on the ground at the minimum elevation, and raising the other one a little each time until I got to the point where the toxote was dealing 1250 damage each hit, instead of 1000. After raising the elevation to a high level to see if the damage increased as the height difference increased, I discovered that it made no difference.

    To find out the value of the minimum height difference I lowered the elevation back to the level where the toxote only just received the damage bonus. I Then raised it 1m at a time (using the Move Map Up tool) until the height difference between the two levels started to decrease. I counted the number of times taken once the difference was decreasing for it to level out, and found that it was 4. Since 4 * 1m = 4m I was able to work out the height difference required.

    So therefore the above units do 1.25x damage when attacking a unit that are 4m or more lower than themselves .

    Suitable variations in height can be found on most maps, noticably Acropolis, Anatolia, and Ghost Lake. Only very flat maps, possibly Mediterranean, will not have them.

    Notes

  • A Zeus or Poseidon Toxote can defeat an equally upgraded Hades Toxote 1 on 1 making use of this damage bonus
  • Siege Towers are the only siege weapon in the game to benefit from being on higher elevation
  • Throwing Axemen are the only infantry in the game to benefit from being on higher elevation
  • 4m is slightly higher than a Sentry Tower, to give some impression how high you must be.

    4m



    Overall this is a potentially battle-winning bonus, so try to use it wherever realistically possible.

    EDIT - few errors and such fixed


    (I'm not one to repost threads, I'll usually just post a reply to unarchive it, but the forum no longer existed. Original link : http://aom.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=11,17957,0,20)

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    [This message has been edited by CeaseDaFire (edited 09-20-2015 @ 03:38 PM).]

  • AuthorReplies:
    anterior2
    Scenario Design Expert
    posted 19 September 2015 06:38 AM EDT (US)     1 / 4       
    Interesting. Maybe the confusion arised because in AoE3 the elevation bonus was confirmed to be turned off? I think maybe people just assumed that the Bang engine didn't support it or something.

    StormComing (to me): "Seems like you're way under-ranked"

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    Mortal
    posted 28 September 2015 02:32 PM EDT (US)     2 / 4       
    wow very interesting. I appreciate all your testing.

    4m is quite a drastic height, but it makes sense. It might be why no one really noticed.

    I wonder if there is a negative bonus for attacking uphill like there is for AoE2.
    Loggy
    Mortal
    posted 30 September 2015 07:28 PM EDT (US)     3 / 4       
    Hmm, I knew it had an effect but I didn't manage to figure out the 4m part. I just knew it needed to be quite a large difference and that finding that kind of height on any default RMS is going to prove quite difficult.

    The thing that's still a bit of a mystery is unit accuracy. I tried but trying to measure it with AI like I did with the Hersir spawning is quite hard as there is no easy way to confirm a miss except by the time between hits, which with lag varies quite a lot.

    And the fact that you have to keep deleting units to get rid of the accuracy increases. Plus there's all sorts of variables (distance, elevation, units' protox track rating, etc) to try to decipher.
    TAG
    That AoM Guy
    (id: aom expert)
    posted 28 October 2018 12:34 PM EDT (US)     4 / 4       
    unarchived cuz I feel like it

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    [This message has been edited by TAG (edited 10-28-2018 @ 12:36 PM).]

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