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Hiliadan

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T3 Elementals can be obtained from the tier IV Wild Magic Adept spell Summon Lesser Elemental by evolving them (which is pretty easy for skilled players) https://age-of-wonders-3.fandom.com/wiki/Template:Summon_Lesser_Elemental, through an elemental (Earth, Air, etc.) Mastery specialization or by getting secret skills in Wizard Tower Ruins, Forbidden Sanctum, Sunken City or with Sage. Earth Elemental is removed from the 3 structures' reward in the balance mod but can still be obtained through summoning an Lesser Earth Elemental.

Earth Elemental is very very strong, and borderline OP: https://age-of-wonders-3.fandom.com/wiki/Template:Earth_Elemental
Its main advantages are 40% Physical Protection and Regrowth, together with strong stats. That makes it capable of absorbing a lot of damage and contributing very significantly to clearing. It is also very good on auto.
On top of that it has 100% Fire and Frost Protection, and Tireless on Elite, which means it will kill most of the units who attack it before they can cause enough damage to kill it.

All in all, Earth Elementals can take some armies of 6 units on their own and can almost clear high level sites on their own. My old ally cbower used to clear Mythical sites with just 1 Earth Elemental and a level 11+ Warlord (Blood Brother = 100% Spirit Protection too).

If it was not accessible through Summon Lesser Elemental, it might not be an issue. But since it is, it becomes a game changing issue.

Some fixes I see:
- replace Regrowth by Regeneration
- replace Tireless by something else at Elite
- decrease HP a bit, to limit the Regrowth potential

Other ideas/opinions?
 

Jolly Joker

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Another non-issue - you have to pick Wild Magic AND you have to be "lucky" and get an Earth Elemental, when you do, AND you have to evolve them. Since there are 6 different elementals, it's every likely that you have to summon a couple of them before you get one.
That in turn has to be weighed against simply picking Earth where you can just summon an Earth Elemental right away.

Wild Magic is basicallly geared to disrupt the regular play by adding chance, and this is just such a case.
 

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I said it on BF some weeks ago that a unleveled Earth elemental can clear a Hall of Forefathers. Enough said. Reduce immunities.
Witches can't even attack it, that is sick.
And elementals are immune to chilling.

Then Regrowth could simply get weakened by a lesser HP factor.

Tireless alone isn´t a big Problem, but together with Regrowth it´s OP - I wouldn´t weaken him too much though because if we do, we would probably have to work on all other Elementals (which I think we should do anyway because they all are strong, but it will take too much time).

Summarize:
1st step: Don´t give him Frost and Fire immunity
2nd step: give either Regrowth or Tireless on Elite Level
Think about giving only a small percentage of regrowth.

If he isn´t OP anymore, reimplement him as reward to the specific sites.
 

Jolly Joker

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So what's the reasoning behind immunities against "Inflict [Immunity Reduction]"? Because I don't see any. Inflicting a weakness against a certain kind of damage is something that should work against everyone.
 

gladis

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Very specific strengths, very specific weaknesses. I think they're stronger than other elementals but not OP. Earth magic would be pretty weak without it. Earth also has the downside of not adding damage variety so you get more brute strength in return.

As for the possibility of getting it through wild magic, that's perfectly fine. Arch druid can get animals that evolve to T4 units as well.
 

xlnt

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Frank, Joke - come play at least 1 game against someone from the multiplayer community (;

we must remove Regrowth but i would also vote for removing Floating too
removing Defender and Petrifying Touch and lowering fire/cold resists by 40 would make the unit Tier3 again (instead of tier 6+)
 

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@Frank So for you it is ok to clear a Legendary Site with an unleveled T3 without casting anything?
Elementals are already OP so weakening the strongest is a must! There could be other Things done to buff Earth Master.

@xlnt For me Elementals are Floating (seem to be like an inherent trait more or less), so would be harsh to steal this ability :p But in AoW2 the Earth Elemental was a slow tanky walker as well ;)
 

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Earth Elemental and HOF are an unlucky combination of immunities and guardian sets that works without leveling or making use of Regrowth ability. If you take Regrowth and Tireless away, the EE will still clear the site (which isn't all that difficult anyway, mind you).

I don't think it makes sense to see the Earth Elemental isolated (the title of the thread is more general as well). What is a bit, well, confusing for me (and what I don't really like) is the fact that there is no rhyme or reason in the immunities (not only the elements, but also the debuffs) of the pack.

That has a couple of reasons. For one thing, I never liked the fact that "Earth" is the same as "physical" with regard to "element", which leads to the absurd situation that an Air Elemental has immunities against both Air and Earth, which is something I have a problem with with regard to elements as such. I'm also not that happy about the singular direction of Water (which is ice only) and Air (which is "lightning" only).

So generally spoken, it would be good if the sum of vulnerabilities and immunities would be the same for all Elementals (1)
I'd also say that Lesser Elementals should have a lower sum than their T3 cousins (2) and
that immunity increases should by all means included into medals (3) (starting immunities being lower).

You might say, that Physical immunity counts double (because physical damage is much more prevalent); in that case the sums currently are:
Air: +160
Blight: 0
Earth: +160
Fire: +100
Frost: -20
Spirit: +240
(Shadow Stalker: +320)

The numbers somewhat confirm the impression that Blight and Frost Elementals are fairly easy to kill, while Spirit Elementals will perish fairly easily when they have to deal with brutal physical power, but withstand more or less everything else.

Let's assume, Elementals (Earth included) start with a 60% immunity in their element and gain +20% each on bronze and gold (Lesser Elementals might start with 40 and gain 20 at bronze). This means, we start with +100 for each Elemental (at gold), but Earth Elemental would be at +200 for 100% physical immunity (monstrous).
If we give Earth Elemental -20% in each other Element, we end up at +100, which seems fine.This means, that Halflings will be hard-pressed to deal any damage against them, but otherwise each support unit will do good damage.
I don't see any reason not to give the Air Elemental incorporeal (for 60% physical immunity, instead of just 40), bringing them to +220, so we need to subtract 120 from that. -60 for Frost and Fire does that, so the 100 Blight protection would simply vanish.
Then Blight could get +20% Physical and +60% Frost.
Fire is good.
Frost would gain 40% each Shock, Blight and Spirit protection (only fair with 40% physical vulnerability).
And lastly, I'd give Spirit the same +20% Physical as Blight, and reduce their shock, frost and fire immunities to 20%.

That way, everyone is at +100 (at gold). I'm also not happy with "regrowth" for Earth Elemental, but not for balance reason - it's too "lively", if you know what I mean. Regeneration is fine and tireless is fine as well.

Of course, +100 (which would be +80 for lesser elementals) is just a random value (that comes from assuming a 100% natural immunity against their own element and everything else being in the balance). We MIGHT give them ALL a specific +20% at iron and/or silver medals, for example.

If 100% Physical immunity seems excessive, we'd be forced to make an exception and simply not give the EE the +20% twice with medals so that they would be left at 40 (Lesser)/60% physical immunity. We might still leave the -20 for everything else, but leave Regrowth as well then. Or we might have a more spread immunity/vulnerability combination, similar to the Air Elemental with 60% physical as well, something like -20 in Cold, -40 in Fire and Blight and +40 in Shock and Spirit...
 
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El_Lobo1986

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I think replace regrowth with regeneration is a good thing.

Regarding all elementals I would suggest to give every one a 100% protection for the own channel and either 100% weakness for one other channel or 2 times 40% weakness for two other damage channels. All in all I agree with Jolly Joker that each elemental should have the same percentage of immunities and weaknesses calculated over all damage channels to adjust their strenght. Blight elementals are the weakest regarding just one unit. There are various options how to distribute the immunities and weaknesses.
 

Rodmar18

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Is the problem that a player can abuse the AI with Earth Elementals or that some players may obtain Earth Elementals too easily? As for the Earth Elemental, being susceptible to Banish and Weakening, and having a -60% weakness to Blight is not what I 'd call optimum.

If the problem is Wild Magic, Lesser Elementals could have a passive ability (or trait) that would double the XP needed to rank (the reverse from "Good Student"). Could this do the trick?

Now, comparing AoW3 Elementals to other games (AoW2:WT and WBC3, I see differences that give ideas, balancing put aside.


1 - Movement:

Fire Elemental: Walking (from Floating); add Lava Walking if needed (that means that it can't swim anymore). It already has Sprint, which is consistent (with a fire jumping a short distance).
Air Elemental: Flying (or Lesser Flying) (from Floating? <- I'm not sure). Could get "Slip Away" if needed. Also, consider giving it "Guerilla" (able to dismiss and retreat from combat).
Earth Elemental: Walking (from Floating); that it can swim can be debated. However, it's too fast in combat, so give it the "Slowed" passive ability/status. That would make it still a strong defender, and make it more vulnerable to ranged units or martial artists.
Frost, Blight, Spirit and Shadow: ok.


2 - HP, combat:

Fire: 12 or 13 RES, 11 DEF (from 11/12), changing unit's philosophy to a greater elemental avoidance, as compared to physical hits (compare with 11/12 for Air, 11/13 for Blight and Spirit) (see AoW2). It could even be as stretched as 13/9, the reverse as for Earth.
Air: 65 (from 60), making it slightly more sturdy than Fire, but less than Frost.


3 - Damage:

As I need a model, I start from Wyvern's damage pattern (6 physical + 6 elemental) and then build up, adding a +2 secondary channel (often Spirit), an Elemental Strike (+5 elemental); I finally reduce physical damage because these creatures should not be more "physical" than full-grown, full-teethed Wyverns (in the form of a kind of "half Frost Weapons", translating physical damage into elemental damage).
This set could be a base to better balance or differentiating the units (e.g. stating that Frost is overall weaker, or Fire is stronger)

Fire: 4 phys / 14 fire / 2 spirit (from 6/18/0)
Frost: 4 phys / 14 frost / 2 spirit (from 5/12/0)
Air: 4 phys / 14 shock / 2 spirit (from 6/14/0)
Earth: 18 phys / 2 spirit (from 20/0)
Blight: 2 phys / 14 blight / 4 fire (from 6/14/0)
Spirit: 4 phys / 16 spirit (from 6/14)
Shadow: 10 phys / 11 frost (from 10/12)

The idea of adding spiritual damage comes from AoW2:WT, where all Elemental get Magical Strike (Fire gets Fire Strike, and Air gets Lightning Strike as well), all damage being otherwise physical.
For Blight, physical and secondary are inverted, and spiritual is forbidden. Blight is thus less a crushing blob, and more an acidic slime. The inversion could be considered for Spirit as well, leading to (2/18).
For Earth and Spirit, two channels naturally merge.
For Shadow, the element is considered half physical/ half frost, still starting from the Frost Wyvern's pattern (and it becomes even more like cooking)



4 - Damage mitigation: (Fire/Frost/Shock/Physical/Spirit/Blight)

Fire: (100/-100/0/0/0/100) no change.
Frost: (-40/100/20/-40/0/100) from (-40/100/0/-40/0/100) because it can evacuate charges a little.
Air: (-40/-60/100/40/0/100) from (0/-60/100/40/0/100) because explosions and hot temperatures may disturb gaz forms.
Earth: (80/-20/-60/40/0/-40) from (100/100/-60/40/0/-60) because rocks can melt, are sensitive to freezing, and blight weakness looks artificial.
Blight: (-40/0/0/0/-60/100) no change.
Spirit: (40/40/40/-20/100/-100) from (80/80/80/0/100/-100); setting it an Incorporeal (like Shadow) gives it actually +40% Physical (from 0).
Shadow: (0/60/0/-20/-20/80) from (0/100/0/0/0/100); being already an Incorporeal, it has actually +40% Physical (from 60).

I see Spirit and Shadow, incorporeal and most opposite creatures that strive for existing on the material plane, thus having a natural physical weakness (that cumulates with the natural resistance for not having a solid body), and a 40% protection from the basic three elements. Then, I distribute 100% weakness (Blight for Spirit, and Fire/Shock/Spirit for Shadow) and 100% resistance (Spirit for Spirit, and Frost/Blight for Shadow). This makes the "Positive Elemental" (40/40/40/40/100/-100), and the "Negative Elemental" (0/60/0/40/-20/80), but could well be (0/80/20/40/-20/80), distributing 120% resistance and 80% weakness for Shadow.
 

Hiliadan

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@ all: before starting to brainstorm about changes to Elementals, please explain why they would need changes. And why some sorts of changes are needed.

I don't think any change to the Elementals who are not Earth (and maybe Spirit, strong, and Blight, weak) are required.

Also this post is about balance, not pure fun, so if there is no balance reason, please open another thread... We all have limited time.
 

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About Earth Elemental. Look closely at it. In first place it was designed as slow (28 MP - check) and very tanky unit (Defender, 13 def, 40% physical protection - check). It must survive surrounded by enemies and cripple them. But devs went a bit overboard buffing it. Regrowth + Tireless + high protections = OP. In fact Earth Elemental is far more powerful than a lot of T4s. Also it has a relatively powerful attack (20 dmg).
My suggestions:
Melee attack 20 -> 15-17.
Protections (Fire/Frost/Shock/Physical/Spirit/Blight): 100/100/-60/40/0/-60 -> 60-70-80/60-70-80/-40/30-40/0/-40.
No Regrowth. As for me Regrowth ('living' feature) for stone creature looks a bit weird. So, we could delete it. And no free heal on next turn.
Also I'd delete Petrifying Touch, it's pretty meh imao. Defensive strike would be more fitting instead. Maybe similar changes will be needed to implemented on Lesser version.

Blight Elemental. As experiment we could add Regrowth for it. It's not very tanky, has limited protections and it's closest to living creature imao.
My suggestions:
Inflict Weakened on Elite.
Poisonous Aura (new ability - 4-5 blight damage on attack + Severely Poisoned status effect) on Veteran. I think these changes are needed, because its medal upgrades are empty, devs already used all poison-based debuffs trying to buff this poor elemental.

Frost Elemental. This unit is just poorly designed. Devs wanted to make Elemental with physical weakness, got it extremely weak and just add OP-abilities attempting to make it playable again. As for me this unit works a bit like earth elemental, but it doesn't suck all attacks from enemies, it just 'turns them off' with frost.
My suggestions:
40% physical weakness -> 0% physical weakness. It's pointless, ice can be relatively tough.
Frost Aura on elite. 20% fire and physical protections will be deleted.
Dome of Frost from start.
Inflict Chilling on veteran, no Defensive Strike. Maybe similar changes will be needed to implemented on Lesser version.

Shadow Stalker
In comparison with other Elementals this one hasn't any weaknesses, but it should. Let's add 20% spirit and fire weaknesses and drop price from 200 gold and 40 mana to 180 gold and 40 mana. Maybe similar changes will be needed to implemented on Lesser version.

Lesser Fire Elemental.
It should have 1-time range ability as others. No Fire Bolts, but Fire Spit.
 

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Okay, guys - silly question: The expansion specs have T4s to summon - why not upgrade the Elementals to T4s as well? This would raise the research costs, delaying their availability, raise the summoning costs, would allow to raise Lesser Elementals to T3s (also with higher summoning costs) and give more leeway to make them somewhat better balanced with a view on immunities.

It would also add a ton of variety to available T4s. Sure, it would be work, but why not?
 

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This change won't be effective, because almost nobody goes for specialization T4s. It's too random to get.
 

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What do you mean, "too random to get"? There's nothing "random" about it. Blight and Spirit aren't part of the specs, Air and Water are the highest/most expensive tech of their spec anyway and Fire and Earth are second highest (and could keep that way). Might be a T6 research, and they might be "T3.5" in reality as well - but making them T4 in name makes them more expensive for one thing and gives more leeway balancing them for another.

So what do you mean, too random to get?
 

gladis

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Zaskow´s idea are quite good. I wouldn´t Hand Regrwoth to Blight Elemental though.
ANother idea for Earth Elemental could be "Stone Skin". Either as a Touch ability (Touch of Faith etc.) or an ability like Sprint, Activate Golem which doesn´t take Action Points?
Would be Fitting as well.

Frost Elemental could get the "Frozen" Status if possible. So the Shatter Strike would apply (quite useless ability so far).

Will think About the Protection-proposals from JJ and Rodmar later / If the discussion will come to an end and things really get decided :p
 

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@ all: before starting to brainstorm about changes to Elementals, please explain why they would need changes. And why some sorts of changes are needed.

I don't think any change to the Elementals who are not Earth (and maybe Spirit, strong, and Blight, weak) are required.

Also this post is about balance, not pure fun, so if there is no balance reason, please open another thread... We all have limited time.
Balance... balance... of course balance is important.:)
But do you think that 1) Elementals are differentiated enough, given all the diversity that the game mechanics allow (I mean that despite dealing different damage types and inflicting different effects, they look less diverse than in AoW2, they even look the same), and that 2) every DLC's addition is perfectly integrated to the game when the original game was designed without them?

So, if balance is due to change, why not revisiting the whole elemental family, for balance, for fun, and for lore sake?!
 

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  • Sword of the Stars
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  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Age of Wonders II
  • Divine Wind
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
'For fun' isn't about balance mod, I'm afraid. The 'funniest' thing we did is making Throw Chicken reloadable with Nourishing meal...
 

Jolly Joker

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Which is of course imba and makes a lot more sense the other way round. :p

Anyway, I still wait on an explanation why spec T4s would be too random (as opposed to spec T3s).