note: This one might be complicated to solve, as most of the ideas I have would likely require code changes.
So, current situation is that conversion is... basically mandatory in almost every match where you're not facing a pure zerk spam. Inquisitors and senators are some of the most used units by players as far as I can see, and there is no real way of really protecting against them other than either using them back or using zerks (I will keep mentioning zerks throughout this post because they have uncomparably high mental resistance, but that doesn't necessarily means there's a problem with them that way, just that they're basically the only unit that's almost completely immune to conversion and demoralise).
Yeah, promote loyalty and fervor do exist, but it's not viable to promote loyalty of all your attacking units, so they will still have easy targets to turn on you, because if you try to do it, then either your attacking force will be very small (because only that small part of your army will be buffed), or you will have spent so many turns on leaders and supports that... well... your attacking force will be very small (assuming you don't get crushed beforehand for doing that), and fervor alone is not enough, because at 50% mental resistance your units are not really protected, and at 150% mental resistance if they are important enough in your attack they can get focused by the converters and still be taken down in 4-6 attempts in a single turn.
These are the points that make me think conversion is not in a healthy state (and some points on demoralise too):
- Similar to what I said regarding one-shots in the assassin topic, I think conversion is also an inherently unbalanced mechanic (and here it also has its "almost-one-shot" mechanic after the enemy researches loyalty, which is not as bad, but still problematic imo), but unlike the assassin case, this one interacts with the units' stats and has a lot more complexity to it, which is a significantly better way of handling it, so here my point is not about that. Instead, what makes me think the current concept should be changed, is because it's a random chance mechanic in a strategy game that has huge impacts on the outcome of battles, and that makes it so that way more matches are decided on a roll of a dice, instead of the actual strategies of the players. (demoralise is also on a random chance, but with an effect that, although strong, is much less so than conversion, and most of the time, when it can land, it will be almost, or even guaranteed to do so)
- Conversion is currently a tool that's too good against almost anything (but zerks, factories and megas/forts). Your opponent is coming with a horde of cavaliers? Conversion. An army of foot knights? Conversion. A fleet of frigates? Conversion. Siege towers? Conversion. Skirmishers? Conversion. You get the point.
- Units like Senator and Inquisitor are almost mandatory to have because of their effectiveness. Senators are so strong that people often make roman garrissons just to train them, without any regards to roman strategies and how they could synergize with them, because they aren't really tied to roman mechanics. And Inquisitor is a must have on almost every match, because of the VERY high range of conversion/demoralise
- There is no way of preventing non-[Flesh and Blood] units from getting converted/demoralised in a single turn, because they're not affected by promote loyalty nor fervor (though it's not really that big of an issue for demoralise now that it is affected by dismiss propaganda).
- Loyalty is not nearly good enough of a defense against conversion, since getting your unit almost one-shot and left to be finalized by a scout or random tower is still VERY strong. Even though it cuts conversion's effectiveness basically in half... so that also points towards its unhalved strength being op.
- If just directly nerfed, conversion will either still be very effective against high hp units that don't really need this big of a counter to be dealt with, like elephants*, while being not very effective against everything else, or, in the case where it is nerfed to the point of not being very effective against those units, it will be basically useless against everything else, and there wouldn't be a point where it'd be a viable choice.
*... actually, especially elephants, because this is their biggest weakness right now, and is what makes them basically unviable to use.
- (Ideally requires code changes, but i think could be done partially with some heavy tweaking on the numbers) Implement GoK's idea from this other topic (which I chose not to revive with this post because this is one possible solution, but not the only one): godOfKings wrote: ↑Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:56 pmAll newly created units start of with a loyalty meter with 100 loyalty points (100 is maximum point)
Every time unit gets damage loyalty point decreases by 5 (no matter the damage)
Loyalty point cannot b less than 1 wen only gets damage
If enemy healer tries to convert, spell possibility is the amount of loyalty point damaged, if loyalty point becomes 0 or less, unit joins enemy side but starts of with 1 point (so a priest with persuasion has 100% conversion after enemy gets attacked 6 times, but after converting unit is vulnerable to conversion by other enemy healers)
If unit's loyalty point didn't get damaged previous turn it will increase by 10 points on current turn, this is calculated by comparing loyalty point of current turn with previous turn, if it is same it increases by 10, but it cannot increase more than 100
If loyalty point is 1 on current turn it will become 11 next turn regardless the damage from attacks
Spell resistance affects loyalty damage of healers using the same calculations currently used
If loyalty tech is researched, HP of unit decreases instead of changing sides, but loyalty point still becomes 1
Using this system healers can never miss, they simply deal a loyalty damage and convert wen loyalty point is 0
An enemy player or ally player cannot see loyalty meter of Ur unit, only u can see it
Its time to make conversion strategic instead of depending on chance, also it will become easier to convert back Ur unit if it was previously converted by enemy
- (Not sure if would require code changes. Probably would, since if I'm not mistaken the conversion ability is hard-coded. Right?) Make loyalty cheaper and add a new tech that requires it, and makes it so that "successful conversions" permanently reduce a unit's maximum hp by a % + a flat amount (to make it similarly viable against a wide range of units). This would still leave the random element in though, which imo is a big downside.
- (Maybe wouldn't require code changes, but might be confusing for players) Make conversion instead apply an effect, I'll call it A, that has a duration equal to the mental resistance percentage of the target + 1 and that converts the unit at the end of the duration, along with another one, that I'll call B, with a lower (4-10 turns maybe) duration than removes the first one at the end of the duration, and make it reduce A's duration by a large amount (would probably also require some heavy number tweakings similarly to the first idea), and make dismiss propaganda reduce the duration of B too. This one would also probably require some changes to demoralise, for it to not become too strong once again because of the "weak resistance" effect maybe making conversion too easy.
And finally, I warned you, but sorry again for making you read all that XD