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Disappointed with Ant Upgrades..

veryhot post 3010 39
Unless you make it so the large soldiers do the same damage as regular soldiers, but all opposing units attack that unit. Dealing all the damage that that group would, to 1 soldier. This would make it more effective at being a tank. But large groups of ants, especially with mortars in back would obliterate your army. If level 3 mortars start firing at the ant and hitting others around it, the tank becomes useless. But that's only if. And there are still more ants to be added, and they could have other abilities to take down tanks.

The tier balancing is actually not that easy. If you make a tier 3 soldier equivalent to 3 regular soldiers it will be MUCH better than them.

1) It has three times the health and it does NOT loose efficiency until it dies. This means when the bigger soldier reaches 1/3 of it's health pool it has 200% more DPS than 3 soldiers would at that time (150 vs 50).

2) It has a lesser risk to die. This is especially true against weaker enemies that get obliterated before the soldier's health pool goes to zero, but even in larger fights more of the tougher soldiers will survive.

3) Larger soldiers have much more EFFECTIVE DPS because the soldiers' DPS is limited by how many of them can get into actual physical contact with the enemy. An army of large soldiers can apply three times the DPS of an army of smaller soldiers and also has less overhead (that does zero damage because it is blocked by other soldiers).
This is also one of the reasons why the Formica rufa shooters are so ridiculously imbalanced.

The combination of these effects (mostly the higher effective DPS and the lesser loss of efficiency) will make such a group of larger soldiers absolutely murder the regular soldiers and the effect will even increase when they are fighting even smaller/weaker enemies/mobs.

1) The regular soldiers don't loose any efficiency until they die either man... let's not forget that an ant dies in one to two hits from predators, a level three ant shouldn't. If this is such a big concern then as the ant reaches a higher tier it should cost more food to hatch. Problem solved.

2)That's the whole point of having upgraded, stronger ants. They survive longer and are just all around better, for a price.

3)You have to remember that I'm talking about wood ant soldiers here, NOT black ants. They do the same dps as a worker, and they have no attack speed upgrades. Tripling their dps is the same as the dps of three worker ants. It's nothing and not even close to being overpowered, but in a large fight it will make them actually useful and worth getting, instead of using workers as part of your army which doesn't match realism and I'm pretty sure the devs never intended for players to be doing that.

I don't think black ants have any issues. Their level 3 soldiers are strong and have attack speed, so modifying those ants the way I said to would make them extremely op. But wood ant soldiers? They really need to be made relevant. A wood ant soldier needs to be stronger and more cost effective than 2 worker ants, and right now it's not which is why people just get workers for their army on 2.1 and 2.2.

1) The regular soldiers don't loose any efficiency until they die either man... let's not forget that an ant dies in one to two hits from predators, a level three ant shouldn't. If this is such a big concern then as the ant reaches a higher tier it should cost more food to hatch. Problem solved.
3 ants with 10HP take 20 damage, loose 2/3 of their DPS.
1 ant with 30 HP takes 20 damage, looses 0% of it's DPS.
This is ultra basic balancing stuff. It's so basic that you'll have a hard time finding something more basic.

2)That's the whole point of having upgraded, stronger ants. They survive longer and are just all around better, for a price.
Yes, but the price formula is a bit more complicated than "everything x3".

3)You have to remember that I'm talking about wood ant soldiers here, NOT black ants. They do the same dps as a worker, and they have no attack speed upgrades. Tripling their dps is the same as the dps of three worker ants. It's nothing and not even close to being overpowered, but in a large fight it will make them actually useful and worth getting, instead of using workers as part of your army which doesn't match realism and I'm pretty sure the devs never intended for players to be doing that.
Formica rufa soldiers are almost utterly useless.

1) The ONE AND ONLY ant in the Formica rufa unit palette that actually does damage is the shooter.  All other units, soldiers included are absolutely pathetic at dealing damage, in a regular F. rufa army the shooters deal 95% of the DPS (probably even 99% when they have AOE).
They're not just having an absolutely RIDICULOUS damage to begin with, they also cannot block each other - there's a maximum number of soldiers that can engage a target in combat (usually 5-10 in tunnels, 30-40 on the surface), shooters don't have that issue (even in tunnels usually 50+ of them can shoot at a target, on the surface it's almost unlimited). Also as long as they have a buffer of any sort (even cheap workers are sufficient) between them and the enemy they're completely unaffected by any stun or concuss or poison or confusion or whatever debuffs and can constantly fire away at the enemy.

2) Most of the enemies in the Formica rufa scenarios can pretty much or completely ONE-SHOT even upgraded soldiers. The spiders deal a stupendous amount of damage and the sand beetles can two-shot even upgraded soldiers (and they even have a cleave attack that allows them to hit multiple targets) making the F. rufa soldiers pretty much a waste of resources (this is especially true in 2.1 where you need a lot of cheap food carriers but to a lesser degree also in 2.2).



The main issue with the F. rufa soldiers however is that they don't really have a role. They're just more expensive, tankier workers but due to their pathetic damage and high cost a zerg horde of cheap workers usually does the job of tanking for the utterly broken shooters much better. Because that's what the entire F. rufa gameplay boils down to - having some ants to provide a screen for the ludicrously overpowered shooters so they can nuke everything off the face of the universe with their combined area effect shots equaling the damage of an ICBM (and that's really not a very interesting nor diverse gameplay).

There have been suggestions how to fix that, mostly reducing the damage of the shooters to a reasonable amount, making them more support units by giving them powerful (non-stacking) debuffs instead of the single one damage dealer in the entire F. rufa unit palette, and giving the soldiers for example a burst damage spray attack (like the adult coach horse beetles have) or a concuss ability when they charge (in addition to a reasonable DPS) to turn them more into assault units with an actual unique role, but unit balance doesn't seem to be anywhere near the top priorities right now.
They could even apply a "cracked armor" or "open wound" debuff that increases the damage of any acid attack that strikes a debuffed target (which would actually make sense because that's what most of the formicine ants actually do in nature) which would encourage people to mix soldiers and shooters. Right now the shooters have all the damage upgrades including the ones that allow them to buff their own unit type's damage which doesn't really make sense and isn't good unit design either.
Actually the workers should have these abilities as well, just much weaker forms of them (much less damage spray with higher cooldown, less % from wound debuff).

[...] instead of using workers as part of your army which doesn't match realism and I'm pretty sure the devs never intended for players to be doing that.
I'm slowly getting annoyed and tired by this misinformation spread but I'll just have to keep repeating it:
FORMICA ANTS DO NOT HAVE SOLDIERS!

In fact, ant species of the Formica genus do not have ANY castes of any kind. Most of them aren't even very polymorphic. Yes, they have smaller and bigger ants but ALL of them ARE WORKERS. The shooters are already a stretch but I can live with those if something is done about their ridiculously broken DPS but the soldiers are so completely redundant that they shouldn't be there in the first place.

In fact, the cost of worker upgrades should be increased and the stats changed so the L2 workers become what the L2 soldiers are now and the L3 soldiers become even stronger than the current L3 soldiers and get an ability so they can actually tank (like they can never take more than 20% damage).
Then upgrading tiles would actually make a change you could FEEL and see instead of barely noticeable baby step upgrades that usually just aren't worth the painstaking effort it takes to get an entire chamber of them upgraded to the maximum level.

But then I'm still for a mechanic that makes level upgrades apply automatically and manual upgrades instead allowing the player to change the unit TYPE of the ant, like changing worker tiles into soldier (major worker) or shooter tiles. That would just make so much more sense and at the same time make upgrading tiles so much less annoying.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 02:01:40 PM by Serafine »

That was my whole point. There are soldiers which you can build as a wood ant, and they are useless. Either fix them or remove them, because they are useless and nobody uses them. Black ants are fine as they are. No need to write an entire bible...

Also, if you're "annoyed" then that's really your own personal problem. This is a game. Most people don't know that certain ant colonies don't have any soldiers, we just see what's in the game and what I see is that we have a soldier ant that we can build but it's useless and nobody makes it, so why is it there?

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3 ants with 10HP take 20 damage, loose 2/3 of their DPS.
1 ant with 30 HP takes 20 damage, looses 0% of it's DPS.
This is ultra basic balancing stuff. It's so basic that you'll have a hard time finding something more basic.

That depends what predator they are fighting. Not all tier 1 ants will die at the exact same time, unless they are being AoE'd. The ones who don't die are still doing DPS. The stronger predators tend to have AoE, which makes it logical that WEAKER, TIER 1 ANTS should be at a disadvantage compared to STRONGER, TIER 3 ANTS. This is really basic to understand, you'll have a hard time finding something more basic. The developers intended for upgrades to MATTER, because of situations like this.

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Yes, but the price formula is a bit more complicated than "everything x3".

If it's so complicated then maybe you should join the team and help them so we can have a balanced game? I already suggested higher hatching prices for upgraded ants, you completely ignored that and went on to insult me.

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Formica rufa soldiers are almost utterly useless.

This is my entire point and the problem with having them. Everything you posted beyond this point is just parroting what I am saying (except for the part where you assume that it's common knowledge for people to know about how some ant colonies don't have any soldiers). This is a game where each ant colony so far has had a worker ant for food, and a soldier ant for battle, so it's logical for me to assume that I shouldn't have to use workers to attack enemies and provide a meat shield for overpowered shooters, ESPECIALLY when there's an option to build a SOLDIER ant instead. Also, if members of a formica colony only contain workers, then the BIGGEST ONES with the BIGGEST destructive capabilities can be considered THEIR soldier ants. These are just word games and are deflecting from the issue.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2018, 01:51:57 PM by JonnyC289 »

The wood ant melee soldiers are unused due to having so many instant-kill enemies on 2.1, making them objectively worse off than just using workers to tank instead. Workers are really cheap at 20 food to build and 2 food to replace.
That's another issue, the ONE THING that rufa soldiers are good at (taking damage) is COMPLETELY ignored by a lot of enemies, especially the spiders (but to a lesser degree also the Tiger beetles, they chop through soldiers almost as fast as through workers, effectively making workers the more efficient choice).
The rufa shooters need a nerf (less ridiculous damage) and the rufa soldiers need a buff (like an ability to limit the damage they take so they can only ever take 25% damage from a single hit, and a short-range burst damage spray attack that makes them more effective when assaulting small pockets of weak enemies), RUFA SOLDIERS SHOULD BE A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO SHOOTERS.
You definitely want some shooters anyway because they're unaffected by numbers (they don't need to make direct contact to the enemy which means they can't block each other from attacking) and don't have to bother with enemy debuffs like rending, confuse or stun (because if things go well they never ever make direct contact with the enemy) but you should not be forced to build tons of shooter because they do ALL the damage (the soldiers' DPS is absolutely pathetic, actually they do the same damage as the cheaper workers which renders them even more obsolete than they already are).


Workers currently don't really need adjustment imao, except for their upgrades.  They're plenty useful in harvesting or economy teams, especially if you're growing the colony's size, Their upgrades just really need to make them better at these tasks, which would diversify the ant type into lvl 1 harvesters and lvl 3 nest management
Yes, workers are in a pretty fine spot but I think buffing them in the things they're supposed to do well in isn't an issue as long as the soldiers get better in the things they are supposed to do (taking and dealing damage).
Or in other words if you refine their roles so there is less competition between workers and soldiers it doesn't matter if they become really good at their jobs (and it doesn't even matter if they can do each others jobs because you always want the specialized version anyway).



we are dealing with ants here. Tiger Beetles are 100s of times the size of an ant.  Wolf spiders are the same. Other opponents will be even biggers. Ants tanking that is ridiculous on its face. Numbers come into play here so the ideal solution is to adjust the cost of soldiers to be more ergonomic. But honestly, I never ran into those problems as prominently as you guys have.

Also Formica Rufa ants don't have "shooters" either. The entirety of the workforce are capable of shooting acid.  While they have majors and minors (sparsely) they probably need to be redone.
Likewise perhaps we should have an implementation system? As someone else posted, we could have something over time as the health of the colony increases you automatically get bigger stronger ants capable of doing more.

That depends what predator they are fighting. Not all tier 1 ants will die at the exact same time, unless they are being AoE'd. The ones who don't die are still doing DPS. The stronger predators tend to have AoE, which makes it logical that WEAKER, TIER 1 ANTS should be at a disadvantage compared to STRONGER, TIER 3 ANTS. This is really basic to understand, you'll have a hard time finding something more basic. The developers intended for upgrades to MATTER, because of situations like this.
Weaker ants that have all stats of a stronger ant divided by 3 are worse unless they fight any enemy that delivers such a massive overkill that it could kill a weak worker ant multiple times with one blow.

If a group of 10 ants is attacked by an enemy that does 12 damage per attack the first attack will kill one of the weak ants reducing the group's DPS by 33% while when attacking a stronger ant this ant's DPS is reduced by 0%. Ants don't get attack modifiers for lost HP, they fight at full strength until they hit zero HP and die. If you include AOE it gets even worse because a group of smaller ants takes 3 times the damage of a single stronger ant.

So overkill is the the ONLY situation where more weak ants should actually better than fewer strong ants - and that is the exact case for 2.1 and 2.2 where there are spiders that can one-shot even upgraded soldiers, making this already weak unit type pretty much useless. The fact that WORKERS can get an upgrade that reduces any strong attack to 20% of their HP and soldiers can NOT makes it even more ridiculous - if anything the soldiers should get that ability.

The other problem is that soldiers do the exact same damage workers do, when they should do MORE damage. Their low damage just makes them much worse even in fights were they should be much better than workers.


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If it's so complicated then maybe you should join the team and help them so we can have a balanced game?






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This is a game where each ant colony so far has had a worker ant for food, and a soldier ant for battle, so it's logical for me to assume that I shouldn't have to use workers to attack enemies and provide a meat shield for overpowered shooters, ESPECIALLY when there's an option to build a SOLDIER ant instead.
Yes, I can agree on this. That's how it should be.

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Also, if members of a formica colony only contain workers, then the BIGGEST ONES with the BIGGEST destructive capabilities can be considered THEIR soldier ants. These are just word games and are deflecting from the issue.
I agree for game purposes.

The problem is that there isn't really a scientific definition for an ant soldier. Often the largest ants in species that have multiple castes are referred to as soldiers, even of they don't actually made for fighting (Carebara majors for example are mostly storage containers and transport vehicles for smaller workers, not fighters)

we are dealing with ants here. Tiger Beetles are 100s of times the size of an ant. Wolf spiders are the same. Other opponents will be even biggers.
That's actually not true. Formica fusca workers are 4-8mm long, tiger beetles measure no more than 14mm in length. In fact the majors of my own Camponotus barbaricus colony are actually LARGER than a beach tiger beetle (their majors grow up to 18mm).
Wolf spiders range from less than 10mm to 35mm - they're bigger than Formica ants but not 100 times.

Ants tanking that is ridiculous on its face. Numbers come into play here so the ideal solution is to adjust the cost of soldiers to be more ergonomic. But honestly, I never ran into those problems as prominently as you guys have.
Well, damage in the game doesn't really reflect reality anyway, for example most ants cannot kill Isopods and will just ignore them. But as long as it doesn't get too ludicrous I'm fine with some concessions to keep the game playable.

@serafine

really like your ideas. Thought I don't want the worker soldier dichotomy.  What do you think of my idea of getting rid of "workers" all together like for ant species like formica rufa? As your start the game, your ants can all defend themselves with acid spraying rapid fire. But as the game go on, you can get majors that shoot acid as a motar. Thus doing high AOE damage.

I gotta stand corrected. I guess the tiger beetles are there for challenges rather than an actual  representation. 

But still, I would like a more accurate dipiction of sizes and have that have gameplay relevance. I would also like for other species of ants to work like their natural counterparts.  Caste heavy ant species like Leaf Cutter ants arn't the same as Formica Rufa.

I will take the time to read through the other two pages I find that the statements stem from what player opinions on how the came should play out.  I think that the strategy from a business perspective is to make it so that people who want a smaller elite group of ants could win, those who want ant swarms, can win and a third option not thought of yet could win as long as there skills are good enough.  We want to avoid the meta or at least make the optimal option only a slight advantage that can be countered with skill.

I personally think we don't have enough upgrades for ants given that we are talking about an ant colony that is supposed to take on traits of other ant species to make super ants.  there are plenty of options that can be added to soldiers and workers and I think giving them a special skill and a choice between at least two different kinds is a must as it adds another level of strategy to the game.

I also would like to see an actual aesthetic to the upgrades that I can see better.  I just started playing and I can't tell the difference between my upgraded soldiers and non upgraded soldiers.  I think I did notice a slight aesthetic change to the tile itself which is good.  However the game does little to explain the number stats on the tiles and though I will figure it out sooner or later that should not be the case.

Back to the point.  We need as many strategy options so that players of different sorts can come at challenges in their own way.  I for one like infrastructure based strategy.  Ambush tunnels sounds like something the developers should expand on like adding bonus damage from attacking the rear of a bug.  or perhaps the ability to close up tunnels set up traps or the like.  I am sure there are ants out there that actually do that.

To sum it up I think we need to focus on building a more dynamic game that will showcase as many different species special skills both in physical, social, and engineering.