Reworking the difficulty thresholds of Quests to make T3 harder to get and Raze Quests easier to get

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Hiliadan

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Jun 17, 2018
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When independent cities or Dwellings propose a Quest to you, your army strength and the absorb cost are checked to determine the Quest difficulty and whether it will be an Absorb Quest or a Reward Quest. Different Quest difficulty and Quest type (Absorb or Reward) are linked to different reward sets (reward sets are discussed here).
Absorb Quests are the same for all sizes of cities and include all 60 Quests.
Reward Quests depend on the city sizes:
  • Outpost and Village get the same 34 Quests ranging from Veary Easy to Medium
  • Town get 38 Easy to Hard Quests
  • City and Metropolis get the same 38 Quests ranging from Medium to Very Hard
You can learn more about how Quests are attributed on the Wikia: https://age-of-wonders-3.fandom.com/wiki/Quests#Difficulty The page also contains 1 Quest reward set from Frostlings and from Feys (and should be updated in the future with more).


In terms of balance, one question arises: should it be possible to get a Medium Quest on turn 8 and thus getting a T3 reward very early in the game?
Currently it is possible by building 5 Irregulars (which lifts your military score to 160+50+50+45*5 superior to 600, see https://age-of-wonders-3.fandom.com/wiki/Scores). Medium Quests' reward values are high enough to provide a T3.
So what should be done?
- increase the threshold for Medium?
- or move T3 to Hard or above?


In terrms of fun, I have never had a Raze the city or a Assassinate hero Quest (though I know some other players I play with have had Raze city Quests). Similarly I never had a Clear Dungeon Quest, etc. I only got clear Gold Mine, clear Great Farm and I think once a Clear Flowrock Quarry (for a Metropolis). So should we make Hard and Very Hard easier to get and in particular make Raze, etc. easier to get?
(regarding Assassinate Hero Quests, I think they're not linked to any Quest set even though devs put them in the game's code)
 

Jolly Joker

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I don't see your problem. If your map set-up supports the economy that allows to build 5 T1 within the first 8 turns (about 250 gold; 225 won't be enough to reach 600 with few units start; 100 gold for first hero; 100 gold for Builder's hall) (+20 upkeep) AND to support a T3 in addition (+16 upkeep) your map setup is geared toward high spending strategy (and frankly, IF your set-up is geared that way, then going THAT way is actually a good strategy and shouldn't be discouraged AT ALL).
You might want to set up a map with few sites and buildings instead.
 

gladis

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You mean you get quests with higher rewards if you have a stronger army? That seems unfair. The quests shouldn´t take your army into account.
 

Hiliadan

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Jun 17, 2018
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You mean you get quests with higher rewards if you have a stronger army? That seems unfair. The quests shouldn´t take your army into account.
Yes you need certain level of armies to get higher difficulty Quests. And higher difficulty Quests have bigger reward sets.
We could change that but it also makes sense not to give Very Hard Quests to players who are starting the game with weak armies, because they can't complete them anyway.
 

Jolly Joker

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Look, guys, building BH and 5 units the first 8 turns is a very specific strategy that costs a lot of gold and, what is probably more important, puts a strain onto your income via upkeep, especially when you do it to get a T3 for another 16 upkeep. You relinquish higher research, for example, and your income is heavily dependent on exploring mines and stuff that gives gold.
That works on maps with a fair amount of sites (only). You also need a town that offers a quest. If you move the T3 to a stronger army, you just need to go for 200 more worth of units (for 4 more turns) - the strategy is just slightly postponed. So the problem here is the amount of sites - that is, it's no problem at all, because it's setup specific, and you have to adjust the setup to make the strategy less workable.
 

El_Lobo1986

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I don't see a big problem regarding the situation right now. As you guys already said it you need to built a lot of t1 units to get 600 army strenght or more to get a chance for a quest giving a t3 reward. That are a lot of "if's". There is no guarantee to get a t3 but a high risk of spending a lot of gold for t1 units.

I don't like the fact that the quest difficulty is linked to the army strenght because it makes a strong player even stronger but I can understand that it's useless to provide a very hard quest to a player with an army strenght below 500. I wouldm't change it because imo there is no urgent need to do so.
 

Zaskow

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Honestly, I haven't clear point of view here. If you think that getting of T3 earlier is bad, then we could change this.
 

Hiliadan

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Jun 17, 2018
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In terms of balance, one question arises: should it be possible to get a Medium Quest on turn 8 and thus getting a T3 reward very early in the game?
The people who posted so far seemed to think that yes it's fine to be able to get a T3 reward with a quest on turn 8.
I personally think it is completely broken. I don't remember exactly how it happened but it happened to me in a recent game and completely changed my early game. I had not done anything special in order to get it, and certainly not sacrificed my economy in order to get a Medium Quest. So it's not "a lot of if" or a dedicated strategy, it's just broken.

In terrms of fun, I have never had a Raze the city or a Assassinate hero Quest (though I know some other players I play with have had Raze city Quests). Similarly I never had a Clear Dungeon Quest, etc. I only got clear Gold Mine, clear Great Farm and I think once a Clear Flowrock Quarry (for a Metropolis). So should we make Hard and Very Hard easier to get and in particular make Raze, etc. easier to get?
Nobody answered that question. Please share your opinions.
 

Jolly Joker

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That's what's bothering me the whole time with the patch: someone encounters something and - that's unbalanced.

Now, the question is, with all these things: Can you reproduce it at will? Can you RELIABLY play for it. If yes, then change it. If no, well, in that case it's one of the things that make the game fun.

The way I see this, it's a question of economy. When you can "waste" your production with producing units, then research is too cheap, sites are to plentuiful, starting money is too high - something like that. I mean, it's pretty clear that early unit production is a big helper in terms of getting stuff explored, whether it's T1s or not and whether you can be rewarded with a T3 - (even a T2 Support will be great), so producing units MUST come with a downside or be economically unsound.

THAT is the thing that must be balanced.
 

gladis

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I guess Hili's example happened in a game he plays with me as allies.
My point is clear: you shouldn't get a T3 such early in the game. In this case it was a Frostling Ice Queen which was great assistance in freezing defenders and increase frost damage. Including a Wizard Tower Ruins very early. Ofc Hili has the ability to do those sites earlier then many other players, but still it is very unbalanced.

The argument "you can't rely on it" doesn't count for me. It is just luck whether you get a strong unit or not. I don't like that kind of luck in AoW.

And believe me, the 16 Gold upkeep wasn't a problem. Number of sites won't change I guess because evaluation/discussing would take 10x the time to get a solution (and not sure if this really would help in this case).

If it's feasible I would vote for:
- make impossible to get a T3 due to a medium quest
- make impossible to get a quest with a T3 reward earlier than round 13 (+/-)

@Hili Assassinate Hero Quests: against making them easier to get because you can track an enemy hero which is concealed or in for of war?!
Raze city quest: As I showed you, it was once the vassal city of my ally- this shouldn't happen I think
Clear Dungeon: this coul work (ofc it is already a big advantage if you successfully clear one)
 
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Jolly Joker

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Look, you are balancing the game virtually for a handful of players who know the game inside out. Instead of balancing the game to a drab death you should simply play with map settings that are taking your abilities into account. I mean, working on and modding the settings is WAY easier and makes a lot more sense than what you are doing.
If you play with FEW sites and you still have too much gold (or if you want to play with more than few sites), you could just try to increase the upkeep by 25 or even 50%. You can play with slow or very slow speed to increase research cost and delay things and so on.
 

Hiliadan

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Jun 17, 2018
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JJ, as I said, we (the readers of this thread) got your point. No need to post it 4 times as you did. You think we need to change the economic incentives by changing game settings or modding settings/economy.

The balance mod's aim is to prevent top players from exploiting the game and winning games with unbalance stuff. You disagree with its objectives and way of doing things. Fine. But we don't care. So do your own mod as you did and play with it.
Please open a new post and let's continue the discussion there if you want to talk about that. This thread is not about that...


Ok so we have at least another person who thinks T3 in Medium Quests which can be accessed early is an issue. I'd like to reproduce what happened in the game where I got an early T3 because I'm not sure how it happened. After it's clearer, I'll try to make some proposals. I guess it is possible to solve (delay) the issue by increasing the army strength but I don't think I had exceeded the threshold for Medium Quests when I got the Quest so something is weird. A shame I didn't realize it at the time, I could have taken more notes.
 

El_Lobo1986

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I can't remember that I've ever completed a raze-a-city-quest. If you play with good alignement it's nonesense to aggree and even if you play with evil alignement in 99% of the cases it's better to take the city or plunder it. I would vote for removing such quest. I never got an assassiante-hero-quests so no opinion on that. If you can tag a hero through such a quest I would vote against it.

T3 reward for medium quest is not a problem imo. It's just a problem when someone get's a T3 before turn 12(+/-). If it's modable to offer T3 not before turn X I would vote for it.
 

Jolly Joker

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As a practical solution, you could just change the required army values.

You might do something like 100, 400, 700, 1000, 1300, for example. Or 0, 400, 800, 1200, 1600.
 

El_Lobo1986

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Jap, Gladis got that reward. Are there different reward sets for each race? I thought T3 were removed for all easy quests.
 

Packallama

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I'd like to add my experience to the conversation. I just got an Easy quest from my independent goblin city on turn 5 to "Abort the Abominations" (4 wisps) which rewards a vassal proposal and a goblin big beetle!!! I have not created any army yet (rushed a builders hall on turn 1 and created a settler) and just have my weak starting army of cavalry + three T1s and a monkey from a great farm. I am new to AoW3, but this seems too strong to be intended. I was practicing with PBEM settings in single player and I know for a fact that obtaining a T3 this early through luck would provide me a large unfair advantage.

AoW3 T3 Quest Reward.png
 

El_Lobo1986

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That's weird and again it's a quest from goblins. T3 that early without building any army shouldn't be possible.