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

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Hiliadan

Major
Jun 17, 2018
540
3
So, I investigated things more...

Giant Quests
I listed the spawned units and rewards for the 5 Giant Quests from Very Easy to Very Hard (there are two sets of Slay the Infidels but they're the same: https://age-of-wonders-3.fandom.com/wiki/Quests
keika managed to get a T4 Giant reward (+ item), i.e. to get a Hard Quest on turn 8: https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...-mod-development-thread.1119915/post-26468580 Again, that seems completely broken to me. You should never be able to get a T4 reward on turn 8.
His army strength is (in the order of the screenshot): 50+50+90+2*10+60+45+45+70+20*2+60+45+45+50+45+45+30(? unsure for Spy Drone)+40+40=870 so he indeed qualifies for Hard Quest...
Also, the defenders are in practice pretty weak (5 Wisps, 1 Horror), their value is: (720+120*5)*0.9/2=594 (vs theoretical value of 550 for Strong Defenders) => the Wisps have an anormal value compared to their actual strength, it should be changed to 100 like Cherub (and its Production cost should also be lowered from 70 to 50 like Cherub, which would affect Military scores). This issue potentially also applies to Phantasm Warrior (Recruit Cost = 200) and Node Serpent (Recruit Cost = 350), though at least for Node Serpent, it's in line with T3s like Big Beetle (320). The Eldritch itself is probably too expensive: a Frost Giant has a Recruit Cost of only 600.

Conclusion here: we need to increase significantly the threshold for Hard Quest. Based on scores from past games, the military score is between 1000 and 2300 (highest I've on 5 games is 2325 on turn 20) by turn 20, so the threshold for Hard Quest could be increased from 800 to 1500, and for Very Hard from 1000 to 2000.

Racial Quests
All the reward sets include ALL units. The only difference between Quests is that the reward value increase from Very Easy to Very Hard and that Very Easy to Medium Quests do not yield items whereas Hard and Very Hard to yield items.

Easy Quests have Quest Reward Values of 250 before multipliers. The Unit Reward Multiplier is 0.4. So the total gold cost which can be covered by an Easy Quest is 250*0.4 = 100.
A Goblin Big Beetle has a Recruit Cost of 320 so a gold value for reward purpose of 320*0.9/2 = 144. So in theory, an Easy quest should not yield a Goblin Big Beetle, even taking into account a 20% variance. And in case I got it wrong and the game uses the gold and mana value of Big Beetles and not their Recruit Cost, then it's (150+20*2)*0.9=128 so in theory an Easy Quest should not be obtainable. However, I did observe that, and we have a screenshot above in the thread also showing that (+ a Vassal offer, which seems to have a value of 50 gold when sold).
I did some tests and the Strong Defender setting does not seem to increase the reward value by +50% as for Structures.

Conclusion here: as for Dwelling Quest reward sets, we should remove T3 from Very Easy to Medium Quests and keep them only for Hard and Very Hard Quests I think.



There is something I don't understand: in theory all Quests have "excess reward" in gold or mana (or just gold for Hard reward sets) activated but I very rarely see gold or mana being awarded for racial Quests, I don't get why. I did see gold awarded on a Medium Quest with a large exceedance of the theoretical value though.
 
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Hiliadan

Major
Jun 17, 2018
540
3
So I made more tests and it seems like the Unit Reward Multiplier is somehow ignored. That's for sure when the unit reward sets contain only units exceending the theoretical Unit reward value (then it chooses one randomly, even if it exceeds the Unit reward value), but it also seems to be the case in general (though apparently rarer), that would explain the Big Beetles awarded despite their costs being too high.
Then the only solution is to remove the Big Beetles (and all racial T3) from the unit reward set, by adding a separate unit reward set for Easy and Medium Quests, as noted in my previous post.

Also, side note but the actual formula for the Sale gold value is: ([gold production cost]*0.9+[mana production cost]*2)*0.75+([excess gold value]+2*[excess mana value])+50*[1 if Peace or Vassal proposal, 0 otherwise].
 

El_Lobo1986

Corporal
2 Badges
Oct 4, 2018
30
0
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Imo increasing the threshold for hard and very hard quests is a good possibility to prevent getting too early T3 or T4 units as a reward. We should keep an eye on this wether the values Hiliadan proposed are appropriate.

I don' like the idea of removing racial T3 units from racial quests. It's part of the game and also nice to get racial T3 as reward. We just need to find a way to make it happen not before turn 12+-. Maybe we can adjust the threshold for medium quests as well.

EDIT: If it's just about removing T3 from very easy and easy quests I am for that proposal. :)
 
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Hiliadan

Major
Jun 17, 2018
540
3
Another related topic: the Strong Defenders setting does not increase the strength of Quest defenders (unlike for structures). What we could do in the Strong Defenders Normal Rewards mod is to increase manually all the Quest defenders by 50% to correct that.
Also, unit rewards could be removed from "Absorb reward sets" so that when you vassal a city through Quest, you don't get any unit reward, because that's too easy / too many gains for not much effort.
 

gladis

Sergeant
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Sep 16, 2018
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I think we should work on the following Points then:
- update SDNR mod (see Hili's post)
- removing T3 from easy quests (so no easy Giant Quest?!)
- raise army strength threshold for (all) quests
We can delete unit rewards at all from vassal or absorb quests (but that is another general balancing topic as an additional T1 doesn't make such a huge Impact).