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I hate the idea of limiting enchantments, they are a strategic option in a strategy game. Each affinity should have enchantments that cater to offense, defense, and support, and there should be a certain number each affinity can access.

Enchantment strategy should be to either go for a rainbow stack that provides balanced buffs, or focused on the areas of offense, defense, or support. A rock-paper-scissor style of balance.
 
I hate the idea of limiting enchantments, they are a strategic option in a strategy game. Each affinity should have enchantments that cater to offense, defense, and support, and there should be a certain number each affinity can access.

Enchantment strategy should be to either go for a rainbow stack that provides balanced buffs, or focused on the areas of offense, defense, or support. A rock-paper-scissor style of balance.
So how will you achieve this choice of strategy when there are no limits? You can mix and match any tome/affinity you want.
In order to get this rock-paper-scissors style you have to limit the amount of active enchantments are any given time.
 
As you can see by your own list, Ranged units (also Skirmisher secondary attacks) get 13 enchantments. You forgot Zeal and Revelry.
This is why the archer units are so powerful and why Skirmishers who get non-repeating bonus deal insanely high damage too.
I already point out that those 13 books also enchant other units. that's why if you get all 13,
your other units, either battle-mages or melee, will be very strong automatically.
Please provide evidence against this, rather than repeating previous arguments.
 
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I'm not complaining at all. I'm saying that we shouldn't increase the world threat because of player skill levels.
Additionally because of time constraints and because it doesn't solve anything. I disagree with your "solution".
Fine. I disagree with your "problem".
And of course you complain.
 
By comparison Battle Mage units also get 13 enchantments but have the worst defensive stats AND have 4 base attack range.
What do you think that 6 range 22 damage Exposing Light is going to achieve vs a 10 range 49 damage Zephyr Shot?
Or let's even take the Inquisitor, he deals upwards of 50 damage, always hits, from 10-11 hexes and can stun 2 targets.
Melee units are dead before they even get close. And if by some miracle they gap close, there's a frontline to deal with first.
If a unit type isn't competitive, it should probably get looked at independently.
It would be an issue if one unit type outclass another entirely regardless if stacking enchant is a problem.
 
I already point out that those 13 books also enchant other units. that's why if you get all 13,
your other units, either battle-mages or melee, will be very strong automatically.
Please provide evidence against this, rather than repeating previous arguments.
The enchantments you will be casting only apply to Ranged/Skirmisher (ranged attacks).
These do not buff your Melee units or your Battle Mages in any way, shape, or form.
Conversely, Battle Mage enchantments only transfer over to Support units.

Just because I unlock another enchantment in the tome doesn't mean I will research and cast it.
Why waste time researching a melee enchantment for units that I don't even need in my army?

The deeper you go into the tomes, the more you're forced to pick them for one enchantment.
T2 and above tomes often only have a single enchantment, thus you must choose the optimal path.

It is not worth bringing a 2 enchantment Shield unit over a 13 enchantment Ranged/Battle Mage unit, ever.


I will give you two different examples, the path I took in my posted game and another path:

Zeal > Alchemy > Winds > Revelry > Amplification > Cycles > Stormborne > Crucible > Goddess
  • Ranged/Skirmisher Enchantments: 5
  • Battle Mage Enchantments: 2
  • Support Enchantments: 3
  • Melee Enchantments: 2
Units unlocked are: Zephyr Archer, Skald, Druid of the Cycle and Stormbringer. Which is what I used in my army (except Skald).
So, why would I bring a Melee or Battle Mage unit? They are literally a detriment to my army in all aspects.
I can fill the Shield unit gap with a Hero. Slap a shield on him, give him defensive stats and you're good to go.

Zeal > Evocation > Artificing > Souls > Pandemonium > Amplification > Demon Gate > Chaos Channeling > Arch Mage
  • Ranged/Skirmisher Enchantments: 2
  • Battle Mage Enchantments: 6
  • Support Enchantments: 6
  • Melee Enchantments: 3
Units unlocked are: Iron Golem, Corrupt Soul, Chaos Eater and Balor. One them is entirely useless.
Again, why would I bring anything other than Chaos Eater and Balor with Shield/Support Heroes?
Honestly with this army specifically, why wouldn't I just bring 15 Balors? That's really the play here.

You'll notice that there is no Support in that second build, which is caused by the lack of T4 Support units.
Both enchantment stacking and to a lesser degree unit placement in tomes cause this kind of tunnel vision.

Another thing you might notice is that picking up 3 enchantments is relatively easy. Which is my proposed limit.
The only reason you would then pick up a 4th or 5th enchantment, is because you situationally want to use it.
But the main thing this will achieve is that you'll actually want to bring those 2-3 enchant units to the battles.
 
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Just because I unlock another enchantment in the tome doesn't mean I will research and cast it.
Why waste time researching a melee enchantment for units that I don't even need in my army?
Sorry that's a logical fallacy. A certain number of skills must be researched before the next tome is unlocked.
So for example tome of roots have melee and ranged enchantment, it'd be very silly not to research the other one.

Zeal > Alchemy > Winds > Revelry > Amplification > Cycles > Stormborne > Crucible > Goddess
  • Ranged/Skirmisher Enchantments: 5
  • Battle Mage Enchantments: 2
  • Support Enchantments: 3
  • Melee Enchantments: 2
You prove my point, your druid of the cycle and Skalds are very strong. You see druid of the cycle on the screenshot, even.

Honestly with this army specifically, why wouldn't I just bring 15 Balors? That's really the play here.
Because they are mythical and has nothing to do with enchantment or your point that enchantment causes monostack.

It is not worth bringing a 2 enchantment Shield unit over a 13 enchantment Ranged/Battle Mage unit, ever
Exaggerated and also untrue. Many enchantment tomes have synergistic effects, for example in roots, pryo, or cryo, ranged units inflict a status, and melee units to exploit that status. The problem is skirmishers that gets both melee and ranged enchantment, allowing them to energize with themselves. I can see same problems with dragoons and massed instantly involved ice Elementals. You may have a point if there is a problematic mono stack build that doesn't use skirmishers.
 
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Sorry that's a logical fallacy. A certain number of skills must be researched before the next tome is unlocked.
So for example tome of roots have melee and ranged enchantment, it'd be very silly not to research the other one.
You'd be right if every tome in the game only offered you the skills from that specific tome, however this is not how it works.
Every time you unlock a tome you need to perform 4 research cycles. Tomes give 5 or 6 skills each, outside of T5 tomes.
You also start with 2 General and 3 Cultural research options unlocked. Meaning you can ignore the entire tome if you wished.

Every time you complete a research cycle, the 1 or 2 spells left behind will re-appear for researching in your new cycles.
Why would I take the Melee enchantment when I can research something low tier and skip 2 or 3 turns of researching?
I'd be enchanting a unit that I won't be using later on, costing me upkeep when I could just bring my main unit class instead.
You should hopefully understand that unlocking higher tier tomes faster is more important than that single enchantment.

You prove my point, your druid of the cycle and Skalds are very strong. You see druid of the cycle on the screenshot, even.
It's on the screenshot because I want it for reviving/healing and the defense mode aura. Not because of enchantments.
Shield units however, are utterly trash because they only provide +3 defense and are dead weight outside of that bonus.
So when I can't even enchant them properly without picking tomes that I do not want to have, what's the point?

Exaggerated and also untrue. Many enchantment tomes have synergistic effects, for example in roots, pryo, or cryo, ranged units inflict a status, and melee units to exploit that status. The problem is skirmishers that gets both melee and ranged enchantment, allowing them to energize with themselves. I can see same problems with dragoons and massed instantly involved ice Elementals. You may have a point if there is a problematic mono stack build that doesn't use skirmishers.
You play your synergistic Melee and Ranged/Battle Mage army, I'll play my monostacked army. Let's see who wins.
I'll happily go mono T3/T4 Ranged, Skirmisher, Shock or Polearms into your army. Battle Mages don't exist in vanilla.

Your composition only works in the early, early, early, game when you can't stack a bunch of enchantments on one class.
This is the entire point of my post, the longer the game goes on the more irrelevant mixed armies become due to stacking.
 
I will give you two different examples, the path I took in my posted game and another path:

Zeal > Alchemy > Winds > Revelry > Amplification > Cycles > Stormborne > Crucible > Goddess
  • Ranged/Skirmisher Enchantments: 5
  • Battle Mage Enchantments: 2
  • Support Enchantments: 3
  • Melee Enchantments: 2
Units unlocked are: Zephyr Archer, Skald, Druid of the Cycle and Stormbringer. Which is what I used in my army (except Skald).
So, why would I bring a Melee or Battle Mage unit? They are literally a detriment to my army in all aspects.
I can fill the Shield unit gap with a Hero. Slap a shield on him, give him defensive stats and you're good to go.

Zeal > Evocation > Artificing > Souls > Pandemonium > Amplification > Demon Gate > Chaos Channeling > Arch Mage
  • Ranged/Skirmisher Enchantments: 2
  • Battle Mage Enchantments: 6
  • Support Enchantments: 6
  • Melee Enchantments: 3
Units unlocked are: Iron Golem, Corrupt Soul, Chaos Eater and Balor. One them is entirely useless.
Again, why would I bring anything other than Chaos Eater and Balor with Shield/Support Heroes?
Honestly with this army specifically, why wouldn't I just bring 15 Balors? That's really the play here.

You'll notice that there is no Support in that second build, which is caused by the lack of T4 Support units.
Both enchantment stacking and to a lesser degree unit placement in tomes cause this kind of tunnel vision.

I don't have much of an opinion on mono-stacking itself, but one thing I noticed is this:

The two builds used as examples here are rainbow builds with virtually no thematic cohesion. Now, obviously, when you focus on power-gaming rather than roleplaying, you're going to find ways to break the game. I don't feel this is particularly an issue itself, as people play games for different reasons.

However, I feel like if you take the Tome of Zeal for example, you should really want to also pick Inquisition, Subjugation, and Supremacy for Zeal/Condemnation synergies. There should also be options to instead diversify to focus on other synergies, but right now I think picking with just one to two tome lines and focusing on a strategy doesn't seem strong enough compared to just going rainbow builds. The gap there is just too large. I don't think there's inherently an issue with doing a strategy that focuses on just two or so unit types, but mono/duo-affinity builds should be able to compete with that.

Is this a problem of enchantment stacking, or is this a problem with tome synergies within the same affinity not being strong enough?
 
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1) Is monostacking really a problem outside competitive multiplayer?
Genuine question, because single player mode I don’t get to that efficient monostack mode even if I try (I get some Phoenix there, Horned God here, event animal, Rally units, Summons to replace losses on the go…). Duel modes multiplayer also don’t go too much into monostack mode. Although whatever summon/T3 you get first tend to become your mono.

2) I don't think enchantments are THE problem for mono builds.
Problem is that you don’t need shields/ Polearms to protect your archers from cavalry.
Or you don’t need anything to protect your Skirmishers.

Skalds were the ultimate synergy anti-mono unit needed for every build out there. Instead of uplifting some/ all other supports to Skald level, they nerfed Skald.

If enchantments for Shock were switched on by Support unit. Or if Archers were the only source of Sunder Defence with minimal direct damage. Or if Battle Mages were the only source of Sunder Resistance. So, they soften up enemy but need a damage dealer to take advantage of this. Naked damage dealer (Shock, Shield) left on its own would then hit like a wet noodle if he wasn’t supported by archers/ battle mages to soften enemy and Support to enhance him.

Something in these lines. Limiting enchantments is meh. You are still not gonna be enchanting useless units!
 
Is this a problem of enchantment stacking, or is this a problem with tome synergies within the same affinity not being strong enough?
I would argue this is a problem of enchantment stacking. I am picking those tomes to collect more enchantments for my main unit.

I get more benefit out of another enchantment than I do out of picking a synergistic tome like Zeal + Inquisition.
This isn't always because of the immediate differences, but also because of the affinity required for tomes later on.

Zeal/Winds/Revelry/Amplification/Cycles/Stormborne/Crucible all affect my Zephyr Archer and/or Stormbringer units.
Goddess of Nature in my mod affects Naga units too, but otherwise I would just have to pivot into Arch Mage instead.
So in this build Alchemy is there purely because it has a cleanse, gives affinity, and because it is just plain broken.

Evocation/Artificing/Souls/Pandemonium/Amplification/Chaos Channeling/Arch Mage all affect my Chaos Eater.
Technically speaking Demon Gate affects them too, by creating Balors. Arch Mage also affects Balors funnily enough.
So in this build Zeal purely exists to make up for the lack of Production in my culture (Mystic). It isn't mandatory.

Having an enchantment limit would make me think twice about picking up something I don't immediately have need of.
 
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2) I don't think enchantments are THE problem for mono builds.
Problem is that you don’t need shields/ Polearms to protect your archers from cavalry.
Or you don’t need anything to protect your Skirmishers.
But you don't need this protection because your Ranged/Skirmisher units are dealing 100+ damage due to enchantments.
Support units are, in my opinion, infinitely more useful than Shield. Polearm exists purely to counter mono Cavalry/Large builds.

I'd be extremely happy with more T4 Support units (Mystic/High tbh, but that'll never happen).
More T4 Shield units might also help alleviate the issues somewhat, but they still fall flat imo.

Still, I think having limited enchantment slots would reel these units back in as well. I don't see why it wouldn't.

If enchantments for Shock were switched on by Support unit. Or if Archers were the only source of Sunder Defence with minimal direct damage. Or if Battle Mages were the only source of Sunder Resistance. So, they soften up enemy but need a damage dealer to take advantage of this. Naked damage dealer (Shock, Shield) left on its own would then hit like a wet noodle if he wasn’t supported by archers/ battle mages to soften enemy and Support to enhance him.

Something in these lines. Limiting enchantments is meh. You are still not gonna be enchanting useless units!
More synergistic enchantments and unique unit roles would be great too, that I can agree with.
 
Doesn't matter

Well, obviously.


Look, it's pretty simple. In my current game in which I'm currently researching my fourth tome, I have FOUR active enchantments already (and since I'm on brutal diff I absolutely need them). The enchantments tell me that I pay the followwing UPKEEP costs for them each turn: Blight Blades, Poison Arrows, Legion of Zeal and Inquistor's mark. For this I pay 113 Mana upkeep (plus 112 Gold). This is upkeep paid for only SEVENTEEN units; the additional Supports and Battle Mages I have do not profit from those tomes at all, while the Inqisitors don't pay for Zeal since it's inherent on them. The two Entwined Thralls I have profit from all 4 enchantments (I might add that I voluntarily didn't pick the Tome of Evolution and the Slithers since I consider that somewhat cheesy) and pay 12 Mana and 2 Gold each in upkeep. If they had to pay additional mana (remember, brutal diff) the way I sketched it, the cost would be 3 plus 6 plus 9 plus 12 Mana plus 2 gold for each of them, which would be THIRTY Mana and 2 gold in the best case, 18 Mana MORE per unit.

Now, if you picked a LOT of skirmishers, having, say a Dozen of them, only with these 4 enchantments, you'd have to pay 360 upkeep of Mana for them alone. And since you would play on a higher difficulty, everything would be, well, more difficult, so yyou couldn't actually build and battle everything as easy, developing slower...
Why do you absolutely need those 4 enchantments, what are you fighting? (my suspicion you can cut those 4 to 2 and still win those fights while having mana galore)
From my experience difference between hard vs brutal was only in amount of fight not their complexity and the only thing I absolutely needed was 3 heroes (1 per every stack) as soon as possible so they can be properly leveled.

When it comes to difficulty dependent malus this is not a great idea.
  • First, you should remember dev response when it comes to tome research progression when people asked for tying it up to difficulty.
    In short the response was it increases the amount of balancing work they need to do to the point that it becomes hard to manage.

  • Second, changing rules on players when they up the difficulty is considered a bad practice. This messes up the player learning and facilitates bad habits, basically it teaches players one way how to play the game on lower difficulty and then when difficulty is raised players need to relearn different set of rules.

  • Third, difficulty dependent malus shrinks the amount of available tactics to be effective (on higher difficulties), this in turn promotes the most broken way to play the game to be competitive. You could glance at gameplay hell that this will give us in BeGoodJhonny's walls of text when he plays with Major Handicap and gives AI Major Advantage and then get surprised why the balance have evaporated. (the option itself raises a question what devs were trying to achieve by introducing it, but that is a topic for a different discussion)
 
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Still, I think having limited enchantment slots would reel these units back in as well. I don't see why it wouldn't.
As a thought experiment - if any enchantment worked on every unit type?
Say Ice Mastery - makes Shield Units give +3 ice damage to melee attackers, Archers +2 ice damage to arrows, etc, etc.

In this case you’d have even playing field for all enchantments. Each unit any time had the same number and type of enchantments.

Would this change stop mono-stacks + hero?
I’d argue no. You still would go for 15 Balors or Stormbringers or whatever :)

Main problem is lack of synergy of units.
Only Skalds are (were?) actually making other units reasonably better.
If every archer applied Marked, it would make Shockers and Fighters better.
If every battle Mage sundered resistance/ removed defence mode/ blinded (and you couldn’t get that from spells), it would make your melee units better. If they weakened > it would help Shields.

The point I am trying to make > enchantment stacking is small part of problem. Game should design unit classes first of all thinking how they synergy with each other. Up to point > where your thought process goes (at extreme version) > “Oh no! I lost archer last fight and without archer on field my Shocker will now be practically useless, MUST build archer quick or at least try summon animal in forest for slim chance of getting that shooting T2”.
 
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Here's an example of a multiplayer game, I played the army on the left.

The unit damage you see is without Strengthened, Fortune, Wet or Storm Crow being active.
AND this is a nerfed version of Stormbringer in my mod, 1 turn CD on Trident and a 2-hex line.

Meanwhile the opponent's Tyrant Knight did like ~50 damage on a full Charge attack (+90% in the mod).
These units have 155/160 HP... That's without Gaia's Chosen. Tell me how you're going to kill them.

Disrupting Blades wouldn't even be able to touch me, as his entire army was affected by Slowed.
I also had Lava Burst ready just to slow him again if needed. Severing Golems are very bad units sadly.

Disruption Wave is the only counter to this, but then I can just retreat and cleanse it from my units.
Or you could do the big brain play and also go for Disruption Wave, countering the counter.


Shock units scale very poorly, as they don't have great supporting enchantments and cannot access their targets.
Battle Mages are also horrible beyond T3. Chaos Eater and Transmuter aren't units, but they also have no range.

So where my Zephyr Archer deals 32 damage per shot from 6 range, a Battle Mage has 4 and deals less damage.
On top of this Zephyr Shot is dealing 49 damage at 7 range, whilst a Battle Mage AoE deals around 22 at 6 range.
All of this is without High culture giving them another +1 bonus range, which is incredibly insane in my opinion.

If you don't allow me to stack 3 billion enchantments, then this problem suddenly becomes far less extreme.
Aren't both armies here mono-stacked? And this is just an example of how good Zephyr Archers and Stormbringers compared to the melee units here?
 
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You play your synergistic Melee and Ranged/Battle Mage army, I'll play my monostacked army. Let's see who wins.
I'll happily go mono T3/T4 Ranged, Skirmisher, Shock or Polearms into your army. Battle Mages don't exist in vanilla.
Does not exist LOL. Meanwhile reaver teleporting chaos eaters will delete any army.
Show that you can Mono shock or Polearm without any support.
You'd be hard pressed against disrupting blades even against the CPU.