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Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition
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Topic Subject: My thoughts on the UPatch
posted 07-11-17 11:06 AM ET (US)   
I decided to look into the UPatch and had some discussions about it on Voobly yesterday with several other expert players. We were are quite dissapointed by some of things in the UPatch. It has a a lot of balance changes which are pretty good, but some changes are just a bit off, and other things were not addressed, unfortunately (e.g. mace now the only civ that does not get wheel).

I'm curious, how were the balance changes of the UPatch decided upon? Were there any real expert/elite players involved at all? Or was it mostly just casual players?

For instance, one thing that bothered us a lot: why was the villager speed changed after wheel? I know the speed is not the same as was stated in the manual, but who cares. It has worked for years without any issue at all. Who knows the new villager speed will cause new balance problems or make the game too slow. We can't know for sure as the UPatch has had no extensive multiplayer tests done by real experts, the 1.0a version on the other hand, has been played for years. Why change something that is not broken just because "the manual says so"?

I'm not sure if there are still going to be revisions of the UPatch, but if this is still considered, I would be more than happy to help compile a list together with some other experts about the good and the bad of the UPatch. Since we have played the game at a high level for years, we know pretty much everything about what still needs work.

[This message has been edited by HellStriker (edited 07-12-2017 @ 04:41 AM).]

Replies:
posted 07-11-17 12:14 PM ET (US)     1 / 28  
I'm not keen on all UPatch balance change, but this sounds quite agressive to me.
There has been several polls to decide for changes.
Maybe people that responded were not good players (and I'm not ), maybe some changes are not so good for gameplay (siege units, for example), but you can't say it was completely "unilateral".

And especially, the fixes about villagers are part of the most important balance changes, so I feel surprised about your comment on the wheel.

[This message has been edited by chab (edited 07-11-2017 @ 12:15 PM).]

posted 07-11-17 05:21 PM ET (US)     2 / 28  
Ok maybe I sounded a bit agressive, which wasn't my intention, I edited my post a bit :P.

I'm not saying all the changes are bad. Swordsmen directly available, new greek bonus, more hp for swordsmen. Cataphract more effective. Pers is now a reasonable civ in RM. As well as Greek.

About wheel: In AOE you need to be able to run away. The thing is, there is no garrisoning of your vils in your town center. So if you are under attack you are pretty much left to die if your vils are too slow. Villagers that are almost as fast as cavalry is somewhat unrealistic of course, but who cares about realism if a house catches fire when you hit it with a sword :P.

Other things that aren't very great: Assyrian getting engineering. Macedonian not getting wheel. Hittite got nerfed way too much. reducing trample damage area for eles (seriously eles need a big trample damage area, otherwise you might as well not use them, since it's very risky to use them at all because of priests). Scythe chariot trample damage reduced is still somewhat reasonable though. As previously they could even overpower legions.

[This message has been edited by HellStriker (edited 07-11-2017 @ 05:23 PM).]

posted 07-11-17 10:52 PM ET (US)     3 / 28  
Hello, I just decided to post a reply because I found this thread really interesting and I decided to put my two cents in. Seeing as I've played on LAN a lot with local friends and a little bit of GameRanger against Vietnamese players online from time to time, playing mostly vanilla RoR and some UPatch, I think my points are at least somewhat justified. All things considered, I'd overall have to agree with you HellStriker because some of the changes in UPatch are a bit questionable. Of course there are some things I like about it, so I'll just list the good and bad changes, but also what I would alter a bit. So here are my top picks:

Good Changes:

1. Hittite (in my opinion) is now a well-balanced civ after their nerf. They still have awesome military potential with better CAs, camels, 210 HP heavy catapults, armored elephants, best HHAs, and fully-upgradable scythe chariots. However, they have a weaker Iron economy and they lack architecture from the Bronze Age (which hurts them big time in a deathmatch during the elephant wars, making them very slow to build). Their military is almost entirely intact, minus the centurion now. And honestly, if it's not Mace or Greek, you'll rarely be making them anyway. That's my thought on Hittite. They have what it takes and are still a solid civ overall.
2. The UPatch went in the right direction by buffing the Cataphract, even though it's still a bit weak for the price. It lacks against siege (unless you can dance them around with good micro) and they can very easily be converted, making them useless against priest civs. I like the buff to the line of sight just as much as the general stats, but I feel it still needs work. Possibly reduce the unit cost for cavalry, heavy cavalry, and cataphract to make them more useful, or give just the cataphract the same conversion resistance as chariots. That one is hard for me to decide on.
3. Greek getting cheaper hoplites is really helpful in random map and it allows you to use the hoplite rush strategy more effectively, given that they have a weak Bronze Age military overall. It's still a nice bonus that helps you out in a pinch.
4. The buff to Persia was well implemented, now that they don't just give out in the Bronze Age after they're done hunting and have to resort to a bad market and farms. It's nice knowing you can fall back after a camel rush without shooting your wad in early Bronze. Wheel, artisanship, and coinage combined with the early game hunting bonus means they have a very strong economy all the way through the stages in random map games, and it can more often last more than 10-15 minutes in deathmatches. They still lack ballistics in iron, but that shouldn't be a big deal since Persia has fast elephants, HHAs, cataphracts, legions, 14-ranged catapults, guard towers, and a fully upgradable priest.
5. The addition of the Oasis and Rivers maps, Highland map changes, and the improvements to island maps were all good to me. Oasis is awesome for deathmatches because of level ground and so much space to build everywhere, Highland is actually a "highland" with all the hills and no more rivers, Rivers is the Highland map with rivers but done better, with better layout and resource allocation and also boats become more viable. Island maps have slightly bigger and more spacious islands, making sure you'll have the room you need to build.
6. More gold and stone on maps is good for the longer games and non-chariot civs. Not much else to note here.
7. Like you said, scythe chariots have a smaller trample damage radius and is a good nerf for a unit that costs no gold and has high conversion resistance. Now they feel okay in terms of being a fair unit.
8. Shang starts out with less food and Palmyran starts out with more food. This helps level the playing field at the start, especially boosting Palmyran in the early game by giving them the food they need to make the third and fourth villagers they never got before. They still suffer a bit on Hills, but not nearly as bad.

Bad Changes/Things That Should Still Be Changed:

1. More "realistic" siege weapons are even more powerful than they were in the vanilla RoR, which was arguably the biggest issue with balance. While they reload slower, it doesn't matter a lot because their DPS is almost the same as before. Faster bolts and fastfalling stones really just destroy the civs without good siege or priests in return (such as Macedonian and Palymran who are still lacking in this regard). Horse archers and cavalry get wiped out now that it's hard to dance them around along with the latency between a mouse click and a unit response when playing online. It's basically a more likely chance of hitting, which I find questionable. I don't like that the helepolis deals 50 damage, since it can honestly just wreck anything with even less shots than before. It makes horse archers even weaker, considering the price for both them and the helepolis. It's really silly that a helepolis on an elevated surface can now one-shot a horse archer regardless. The ballista is fine, but the helepolis should be cut back a bit. Either give it the same reload speed OR damage as the ballista, but not better in both. Catapults in general are a tough one for me to decide on, so I would consider leaving them intact in the UPatch, regardless of them now being harder to rush down and destroy. This change overall fixed catapults (especially with the splash damage radius) but inadvertently buffed the ballista line. I never thought any catapults were hard to outmaneuver and destroy unless there are 20+ of them, whereas I always found the helepolis to be a bit much to begin with. They're now really hard to rush when their numbers are big and are backed by catapults and/or priests. I honestly think that dual siege is better than both Sumerian and Hittite now, which is a problem.
2. Assyrian getting engineering. I can't agree more. This civ honestly feels like the best land civ in the game, with their CAs the same, them still having a better economy with slightly faster villagers, and now they get engineered helos and heavy catapults along with ballista towers, horse archers, legions, cataphracts, and a full temple. I think giving them chain mail was alright, but most people will only use legions and cataphracts if they absolutely have no other options. Getting a full temple and engineered siege combined with the siege changes now makes them a better Greek in Iron in random map games. They still lack architecture, which as I said for the Hittites, hurts a lot in deathmatch. If you can hit them hard and early with elephants, they're pretty much toast.
3. Slower villagers after the wheel is a change I'm still ambivalent about, but I side more with reverting it back to normal. It helps to have fast enough villagers to escape the CA, camel, and compie armies in Bronze. That's why we've all liked fast villagers. You don't have to let your economy die as soon as you get rushed. However, I think something should be done about Assyrian and Yamato villagers being able to outrun everything else, maybe nerf their bonus only, but keep the wheel's attributes intact or very close to the same.
4. On the topic of Macedonian still lacking wheel, I don't find this too big, seeing as I'm usually able to Bronze fast and rush with the super hoplites and cheap stone throwers, but I understand nevertheless. I agree that every civ should get wheel, seeing as it is a huge technology to get. However, Macedonian is still a very powerful civ (militarily) until the late Iron Age siege comes out, thus making them a tough civ to tweek without going overboard. I really don't mind them lacking wheel. Speed isn't too big, not to mention the line-of-sight bonus is amazing for finding resources (especially on Hills). Their real weakness is their lack of range, getting a 10 range ST as their best. If it were up to me, I would give them engineering instead of Assyrian, which would help them a ton against the helepolis spam. 12 range on half-cost ST's and 11 range on their ballistas would be really fun. Not to mention their siege weapons would still be weak at close range. After all, they are just ballistas and ST's.
5. The war/armored elephant should be restored close to back to normal for the very reasons you said. It's there to serve as a rush unit in iron to destroy towns and be a meatshield. Like you said, it's a very risky unit to use, seeing as siege, priests, centurions, and massed archers can stop them very quickly. The trample is very small now, but I found the trample in vanilla RoR to be a bit ridiculous. I still think the trample radius should be in between patched and unpatched. Make it a little bit larger given that it's a slow and vulnerable unit with all things considered.

These are my picks for the best and worst changes in the UPatch. All in all, it's a good patch that does help a lot with the gameplay and balance, but it still has some questionable things in it. I still prefer vanilla RoR for the most part, but I'll play UPatch online every once in a while. Anyway, I'd like to know your guys' thoughts along with mine on this one, seeing as how it's about the patch that's trying to improve the game.

[This message has been edited by MakesLittleCents (edited 07-12-2017 @ 03:46 PM).]

posted 07-13-17 06:52 AM ET (US)     4 / 28  
Nice post. I am not by any means an experienced player, but I think the main reason siege is so strong is because the cavalry is so weak. Cavalry and cataphracts should get more pierce armor and a faster move speed, they could finally be useful then.

[This message has been edited by Exarion (edited 07-14-2017 @ 04:37 AM).]

posted 07-13-17 11:06 AM ET (US)     5 / 28  
Pretty much spot on. Most cavalry units in general just can't stop a big army of fully upgraded helos and heavy catapults. However, scythe chariots in specific are really good units to counter siege because they cost no gold, and this is why cataphracts are overshadowed by their chariot counterpart. I think that this is the reason civs like Egyptian and Shang can do so well in Iron without siege since they can use most of their wood on scythe chariots and just use a lot of gold on good priests. Phoenician is also similar even if their scythes are weaker. Persia is an exception to this rule, seeing as their fast AEs and priests can just overwhelm siege. Same goes for Choson. Their super legions and cheap martyrdoming priests can be a royal pain in the ass. Civs with full temples can use martyrdom, as it's really helpful when you gotta deal with a ton of catapults. Yeah, it's expensive to research and sacrifice your priests, but your best options lie in your priests and wood-based chariots. (Shang can do both scythes and cataphracts together and they go together quite well when mixed together). Seriously, fully upgraded scythes and priests can wreak havoc on siege when you target the right ones. But what about Palmyran? They sort of feel like Macedonian but with heavy catapults, scythes, and priests, but the lack of temple techs, engineering, and metallurgy can be a bit detrimental. Macedonian can use their cataphracts and elephants and just throw cheap siege of their own in for cannon fodder, even if it's a bit unconventional. At least priests aren't ever a concern for them. I'm far from the best player ever, but I consider myself good enough to be familiar with units and their counters. Especially with siege, it's either fun to just destroy everything or sucks to be on the receiving end. I know my posts drag on a bit, but I think there is something that should be done with siege and also the cataphract since it costs the same amount of gold for either siege weapon (maybe the cavalry line all together should be 60 food, 60 gold to make it cheaper than even horse archers?) Not sure. Hopefully with the AOE Definitive Edition, the siege is like it is in AOE2 because that would be perfect for the game balance.
posted 07-13-17 01:11 PM ET (US)     6 / 28  
I have to say I totally agree with MakesLittleCents, particularly about the Hittites. The changes to that civ were necessary and fair.
posted 07-14-17 09:10 AM ET (US)     7 / 28  
I think the UPatch is a very good starting point to reach a good balance, but one thing that worries me is that the devs don't seem very interested in adding units/upgrades for the game. Units like slingers could really use a bronze age upgrade, and camels too in iron age.
Also, I really think that they should add a few new units for all the civs to improve the ability of the civs to counter each other. Maybe also use a building for land trade. We, lets wait and hope for the best!
posted 07-14-17 09:57 AM ET (US)     8 / 28  
UPatch is a balance patch, not a mod
If you want more unit/techs, use mods (or create one) !
posted 07-14-17 02:03 PM ET (US)     9 / 28  
My bad, I wrote in an ambiguous way in my post :P
I am talking about the AoE DE here, since devs stated that balance will start from UPatch.
posted 07-14-17 05:23 PM ET (US)     10 / 28  
From what I understand the DE HD mode uses the upatch balance whereas the DE classic mode uses the original presumably 1.0c balance. I would love to have it vice versa as well (HD with original balance) but I understand the choice from a MP view.
posted 07-15-17 09:31 PM ET (US)     11 / 28  
DE is using Upatch? Where was this posted? I was under the impression that the developers of DE were going to implement balance changes of their own?
posted 07-16-17 08:15 AM ET (US)     12 / 28  
Well, since DE was announced I had my suspicions about it being the reason behind aoescout going silent for such a long time, now i can say Illuminati confirmed!. The people involved in the DE are way to secretive (IMO more than necessary). But that is up for them.

As for balance and this thread in general: aoescout and the staff of AOEH always encouraged players to try the patch and test it. The success of a MP game like AoE depends a lot on human players testing it and their feedback, both in SP and MP modes.

However finding human players to test it was always a bit difficult. First, this forum community is pretty small, and relatively few regulars play this game online often. Second, we has relatively few active elite MP gamers. Most active pro AoE players are in China and Vietnam but language barriers and their preference for their own versions of the game restricted feedback from them.

Many of the western Pro AoE players have retired, I think, and the new ones don't seem to be interested in this forum , which has been, along aoescout's site, the main advertising area for the patch.

Of course the feedback coming from pro gamers is most welcome and I'd say, necessary. Their opinion should be taken into more consideration than that of those who don't play the game as often (just as the opinion of Stephen Hawking may cont more than mine regarding cosmological issues). I am not referring to this thread or to anyone posting here, but I'll mention this: being brutally honest, I'd love if our community were visited more often by pro gamers. Many are cool, but also many have quite the unbearable ego (basically looking down at everyone else, this applies to all game genres). That sadly translates into poor diplomacy to express their ideas, and that isn't too exciting for developers or for the rest of the community. I think a couple of really good pro gamers decided not to log in anymore after we expressed our concern on how they expressed themselves in the forum.

Now that DE will get its beta soon and that the UPatch idea could be implemented in that version of the game, I encourage both pros and casuals to test the game and help developers improve the game experience for us all.

[This message has been edited by Suppiluliuma (edited 07-16-2017 @ 08:34 AM).]

posted 07-16-17 08:39 AM ET (US)     13 / 28  
I was wondering why AOE_Scout suddenly disappeared, I thought that was strange. He continued to support UPatch on his site, but not really here anymore. Now this all makes sense!

Hopefully the balancing gets a good test with the DE beta. I don't have Windows 10, and do not plan on getting it anytime soon, so I can't be involved in the playtesting.

[This message has been edited by Kenntak (edited 07-16-2017 @ 08:40 AM).]

posted 07-17-17 01:34 PM ET (US)     14 / 28  
DE is using Upatch? Where was this posted? I was under the impression that the developers of DE were going to implement balance changes of their own?
I found this source: https://www.reddit.com/r/aoe/comments/6gu782/age_of_empires_definitive_edition_trailer/diu446f/

[This message has been edited by Juggernaut93 (edited 07-17-2017 @ 01:35 PM).]

posted 07-18-17 03:21 AM ET (US)     15 / 28  
I truly think that in spite of the relatively low popularity for the game in most places nowadays, the first and original Age of Empires along with Rise of Rome are the best installment to play at a higher level. Compared to the other two, the game itself is ridiculously fast-paced and all about the rushes. Not to mention it feels way more difficult overall than the other two, rather than just camping with the Vikings on a water map in AoE2 or Dutch bank spam in AoE3. You also have game limitations such as path-finding and less unit variety (I actually like less units since there isn't a counter for literally everything that can be countered by some other random unit that we pull out for that niche situation). I'm honestly ok with the CA and camel spam mainly because the player who could afford to do that is probably really damn good at the game, and has learned the most efficient ways to win. It's so much more about the player's skill, not the large unit diversity. Perhaps I'm a bit too biased in favor of the first AoE, but I honestly think that the meta is driven by better players and a more fun viewing experience when we see quick, large-scale battles all over the place. I've played all the Age of Empires games and most of the expansions, but I really gravitate towards the first because of a more fast-paced environment and aggressive kind of gameplay. We see the pros and cons of almost every unit and the matchups between civs, whether it's 1v1 or a team game. We enjoy the ability to just rush all the time and take a gamble. We like to fight even the overpowered stuff in it because we feel good if we win. Many players have grown this "no excuses" mentality, and that's really cool. Regardless of how someone wins or loses, they don't complain or lose sight of what's fun. This is what has given a lot of players their opinion on the vanilla Rise of Rome's balance, including myself. We've become accustomed to the game's mechanics, units, maps, etc. and it helps give a more impartial view of all aspects of the gameplay and mechanics. Honestly, the only thing that really feels like an unfinished mechanic is the path finding, but it's not a deal breaker for me. When I first started playing online with friends, we weren't bad, just not too good at the game. Rooks if you will. Then we saw how the Vietnamese and Chinese played it. Then we trained on LAN games for a while, learning the patterns to the hill country maps, being able to herd gazelle and lure in the elephants, save villies, bronze in about 12-13 minutes, that sort of stuff. Stuff like what civ you get for random doesn't matter that much if you're better prepared (hell, even a Greek with just hoplites could rush a Shang or Phoenician on hills and just shut down their chariot archer pump if the player is skilled enough). I honestly don't care too much about even the most annoying stuff like siege weapons, mainly because that's not the thing to focus on. You should always be trying to think flexibly and formulate solutions to win, not be solely thinking of how your opponent has x number of CAs running around. I know it sounds a bit hypocritical of me to come on to the forum and list the goods and bads of UPatch and then basically say it's not about the balance that's important, but it doesn't bother me at this point anymore. I've mostly played vanilla RoR anyway, but I just decided to chime in to do my best to be objective about the UPatch and about what I like and dislike about it. The thing is, the core gameplay and feel of RoR are almost entirely intact, but are also in the form of a rather professionally presented and worked-out patch that alters them very slightly.
posted 07-21-17 08:01 PM ET (US)     16 / 28  
I have a radical opinion on this matter:

What about letting the UPach changes be the definitive thing?

Guys, AoE has been out there for 20 years and these discussions always come up! It's like they will never end, no matter how hard we try. Thats one of the things that fascinate me on this game... so old, with so many possibilities

So why not face reallity and give up? It seems that we will never be 100% satisfied with civ stats.

Maybe we should Just have fun!

Well,I don't think you guys will listen to me

[This message has been edited by fabioxds (edited 07-22-2017 @ 01:45 PM).]

posted 07-23-17 06:40 AM ET (US)     17 / 28  
Well balancing is a dynamic thing and I think it hould be encouraged so the game stays attractive and fair at every level. P

opular games nowadays like overwatch or fighting games balance the characters every now and then. And RTS behave in a similar way: the civilizations are like characters that must remain different but with chances of winning a game.

Yes, as an assyrian player I'd get angry if they were nerfed. But it is boring (in my opinion) to know that you will basically have a secured victory if you chose to play assyrian against a similar skilled player that chose any other civ.
posted 07-23-17 09:33 AM ET (US)     18 / 28  
I think the problem lies in the lack of definite information on how to balance the civs or rather how the game plays out at the moment. Ive seen topics like this before on the forum, and it mostly comes down to several people of widely varying skill with different experiences trying to espouse this or that point of view on multiplayer as an entirety. I havnt seen a unifying, convincing argument on what the state of affairs currently is, and thats mostly because of three reasons;Not many play the game in english, there are no recorded games, and there are few videos in english.

In AoK all three points are reversed so there is less confusion about how to balance. When a unit or civ is just running amok overpowered or is pathetically underpowered like Magyars, you can bring up hard, factual evidence for it.

If AoEDE is a success, it should change atleast two of the three points. More people playing, and more videos of multiplayer. Then we can all start getting on the same page about what actually needs to be changed. To me the upatch changes look random and not very meaningful, so until more actual data is measurable and there is less anecdotal evidence being used i am not sure what to think. That is why i would advocate not changing the game balance just yet.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
posted 07-24-17 02:30 AM ET (US)     19 / 28  
Also, on the features page of the upatch website it says:
- In the original game many of the civilization bonuses and technologies have wrong descriptions - with completely different values in reality than those described in help files/manual/in-game text. Most AOE players never knew that these values are not true. Such bugs and inconsistencies (now fixed) have been plaguing the game since its release, not fixed by any of the official patches.

But it does not say exactly what this includes, does someone have a list? For instance, later it says:"Gold and stone miners work 15% faster (to compensate bug fixes to technologies)". It probably refers to one of those bug fixes, but I do not know which one.
posted 07-28-17 02:09 AM ET (US)     20 / 28  
Although I do know what you're referring to, I don't actually have a complete list that I know and can refer to. However, there are a couple things that I can list just off the top of my head after remembering the time I tried experimenting with hacking the game for my own possible build about two years back (I lost all interest and motivation because a lot of stuff is hardcoded into the executable of the game and I didn't think it was worth going out of my way to use decompilers just for AOE). Some stuff that was not properly described and labeled is a little more obvious than others, but the stuff I remember includes:

1. Phoenician woodcutting (along with being able to carry more wood, they actually worked around 30% faster in taking in more wood than an average villager). This means that with no upgrades, they could bring in 13 wood 30% faster per carry than an average villager could bring in 10 wood per carry. This is in unpatched though. I can't say the same for patched since I just don't know at all.
2. Nobility increased hit points for horses and camels by about 14.5% instead of exactly 15%. You can actually tell by looking a horse archer (for example) before when it has 60 HP and after with 68 HP. 60 x 1.15 is 69, not 68. It's easier to tell when the base numbers are smaller and the mental math in your head is a bit quicker when confirming. For whatever reason the game decides to round down a number or two, not up.
3. Assyrian and Yamato villagers are twice as fast at the start. I don't know if that's much of a surprise now.
4. Assyrian archers actually fire 25% faster. Not 40%. This was later properly accounted for in the UPatch tech tree pages I believe.
5. Camels didn't have increased attack versus elephants even though the description says it has increased attack versus all cavalry. The amount of increased attack was also wrongly mentioned versus chariots. The game manual just said the same increased attack for all cavalry units, but they deal +8 to cavs, CAs, horse archers, and +4 to chariots. The UPatch didn't change the values, but just correctly labeled it.
6. Chariots and scythe chariots don't have double attack versus priests. The amount dealt is double the normal minus 2 damage (and then adding however much damage you have from storage pit upgrades). In the game manual chariot archers are said to deal triple damage to priests, meaning they should deal 12 from the original base of 4 damage, but they actually deal 11 damage. Again, this is one I'm sure of in unpatched, but unsure of in an official patch (1.0b or 1.0c).
7. The heavy horse archer moves very slightly faster than the horse archer, but the in-game and manual descriptions never said this.
8. If we're referring to bugged ai building plans, all that was wrong with the plans was putting the wrong numbers with the wrong units, buildings, and technologies. If you need any help understanding what I mean, just refer to the page on the main website by Phill Phree. This would usually stop them from a quick tool rush with unit retrains or going for a later age army.

Again, some of these are just things I remember from doing builds a long while back, so don't quote me on everything. A lot of this stuff can actually be noticed if you pay very close attention in-game (like chariot vs priests and the HHA speed), but such stats aren't properly labeled. I don't want to spread any misinformation on this or misguide you, but there are a small number of things I'm confident on.
posted 07-30-17 07:21 AM ET (US)     21 / 28  
Well, to be honest I never gave a thought on this when UPatch was being in the works, but HellStriker is right since the first post:

Why was it assumed that the in game values were "wrong" and the written documentation ones "right"? I agree it should be the other way around and that the written documentation values should be fixed to fit the in-game ones.

Actually I would have thought that doing the latter was easier than the former, as editing text is easier than editing the game code.

Both approaches (changing in-game or documentation values) are valid, but considering how much time has passed and how the most regular multiplayer players, have adapted to the in game values, I feel maybe changing the documentation alone could have been a more parsimonious solution.

[This message has been edited by Suppiluliuma (edited 07-30-2017 @ 07:26 AM).]

posted 07-31-17 01:03 PM ET (US)     22 / 28  
If you analyze the values you can see quite easily that many numbers are inaccurate or inconsistent.

An simple proof is to have a look to researches/rech effects as I documented with more details in RockNRor documentation (and here)

The guys who configured empires.dat had some very bad practices, and this resulted in terrible values/side effects.

For example a tech that adds 0.4 work rate to a unit will correspond to +40%... If base value is 1. If base value is 0.5, it's almost +100% !!!
At some point in the development the base values were probably 1 almost everywhere, but for some (balancing/configuration) reasons the values changed... But the dirty setup was not updated.
That's why I alsways insist in using effects like "multiply by 1.40" instead of adding +0.4 (or worse, setting the value to 1.4)

I believe AOEScout spend a lot of time studying this (I did too) and had good reasons for choosing this approach.

[This message has been edited by chab (edited 07-31-2017 @ 01:04 PM).]

posted 08-01-17 10:31 AM ET (US)     23 / 28  
The fun thing is that the devs made the same mistakes in AoE II too :P
posted 08-01-17 11:52 AM ET (US)     24 / 28  
Maybe it's simply because noone ever noticed the errors before years... Probably much more than 10 years, the time AGE2/3 gets popular enough for people to have a detailed look at this.
posted 08-02-17 06:38 PM ET (US)     25 / 28  
After plaiyng as U Patch for a couple of months( Disclaimer: NOT a pro on any way or form here ), I came to the opinion that... Well, that it is far more well-rounded then the actual main game was. However, if I am to make preciselly two complaints...

A: The changes to the Assyrians, to me, felt rather unecessary. The Assyrians are meant to be really strong early game but very weak late game: For me, giving then Engineering and Chain Mail while lowering their villager speed just felt slightly... Unnecessary, of a change. I am not saiyng it makes then either under or overpowered, just that I legitimally dont see why it was necessary.

B: I also think the Elephants wide AoE attacks should have been kept intact, or if it was changed, it should be replaced by some kind of buff( ... Other then the buff they admittedly got, of bonus damage versus buildings ). Elephant units, on this game, always hit me as somewhat underpowered, even with the "Armored Elephant" upgrade factored in: Not only they are vulnerable to a variety of ranged units( Especially Monks ), but also, Centurions beat then in one vs one while being significantly cheaper. That not to get into the Elephant Archer, which most of the time tends to be close to useless, as for a ranged unit, its bulk doesnt matter that much relatively to its low damage output for its cost.( Then again, I am not a pro player, so it might be me who cant use Elephant Archers properly ).
posted 05-24-21 03:06 AM ET (US)     26 / 28  
sorry to revive this old thread but i just discovered upatch. did i read here that upatch influenced the definitive edition?

- Assyrians: Get Engineering and Chain Mail armor.
- Babylonians: Towers have +75% HP, get Metallurgy.
- Choson: Get Nobility.
- Greeks: New bonus: Academy units cost 20% less
- Hittites: War ships (except Fire Galley) range +3 total; Centurion, Architecture removed.
- Palmyrans: Start the game with +100 Food (because their villagers cost 75 F); Villagers work 25% faster for all tasks.
- Persians: Get Wheel, Artisanship and Coinage.
- Shang: Get Ballistics.
- Sumerians: Get Craftsmanship; Farms have +125 Food.

these changes included to the civilizations sound too coincidental!
posted 05-24-21 04:50 AM ET (US)     27 / 28  
As a matter of fact DE is based on Upatch. Aoescout is one of the DE devs, and I guess one of the reasons why DE never went beyond. He and Forgotten could have given it so much extra potential, work with the community but didn't. Too bad certain credit wasn't given to those that deserved it since Scout/Forgotten certainly did not do all the work themselves.
posted 05-24-21 06:41 AM ET (US)     28 / 28  
I'm not entirely sure what Scout's role in the DE development was, but I certainly don't think the UPatch balance could be considered one of the game's issues. It does a nice job to make more units viable in RM while at the same time letting old and tried unit combos stay viable. It's pretty cool to see it started here, as an early UPatch feedbacker I like to think that I had a say in DE balance to some extent.

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Age of Empires / Rise of Rome / Definitive Edition » My thoughts on the UPatch
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