PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod v1.2 about to be released (Community)

With more than 8 months of experience of use for Single Player, casual PBEM and competitive PBEM, the PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod has reached maturity. A new major step is about to be achieved with its future v1.2 and v1.21 release which will bring significant new improvements to ensure choices before the game (race, class and specialisations) provide equal chances to enjoy the game (and win!) and make choices during the game matter more, as well as to increase fun and diversity in an already very rich game! v1.2 should be released in January in the beta branch of the balance mod and will be released on the main balance mod only after several days/weeks of tests. Focuses of v1.2 are: specialisations, high-level sites, mind-control, Necromancer, healing and polishing previous balance efforts.

An Article by Hiliadan

More than three months after the previous release of the PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod, v1.18 (see article), a new step in the refinement and balancing of AoW3 is on its way: v1.2. The change of first digit (v1.1 to v1.2) indicates some significant changes which will bring more depth to strategic decisions and tactical fights and will also strengthen and make more exciting some specialisations which are currently lacklustre.

Key improvements:
- weak and unexciting specialisations (Earth, Wild Magic, Water Master, etc.) get boosted by small incremental changes (e.g. cost reduction or addition of effects such as +1 defence to units in domain for Domain of and Empire of spells) and more radical additions of penultimate spells (e.g. a "Dark Storm"-like spell for Air Master which would reduce vision range for enemy units).

Results of a poll conducted on the in May 2016 to spot weaker specialisations: What specialisations do you use most of the time? (multiple choice)

- risks and rewards are balanced for high-level sites: battle enchantments are added where they were lacking for the most difficult, i.e. Legendary and Mythical, sites so that these sites are not easier than lesser, Epic, sites such as Tombs or Lost Libraries. Rewards of Legendary and Mythical sites are re-adjusted in accordance with their high risks so that weak items are no longer proposed as rewards.

- key balance efforts from previous versions of the mod are polished based on experience gathered over several months using the mod: several loopholes linked to mind control are closed, tactical combat exploits linked to Necromancer are limited, Death March is further balanced, Halflings are boosted a little more...

- a few other highlights: Healing becomes once per battle (first for heroes in v1.2, then for all units in v1.21, though Theocrat's units are compensated), mind-controlled units cost more in upkeep to create a strategic trade-off for mind control strategies, Rogue heroes are boosted to make guerilla tactics more viable (stack concealment is cheaper and a new movement boost leadership ability is added).

Several of these changes are not present in v1.2 in its initial release, but should be released shortly after in v1.21 and following releases.

The aim is to release v1.2 on the beta branch of the mod as soon as possible so that it is then released quickly on the main branch of the mod and is available for the 2017 PBEM Duel Tournament which is planned to start on 30 January (delayed from an initial start date of 15 January).
v1.21 should be released 1-2 months after v1.2 on the beta branch.

Please note that the PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod needs help with modding! If you're a modder and you're interested to help improve AoW3, please contact Hiliadan.

What's next?
The balance mod is made by and for the community so its development team (Zaskow and Hiliadan) will be listening to the community for its evolution in the coming weeks/months. Changes proposed in the past (for instance regarding Dreadnought and Halflings) will be re-assessed and a convergence with the live multiplayer balance mod will be considered.
Authors of great graphical and "ease of play" mods will be contacted to consider merging their content into the balance mod to make life easier for users (e.g. instead of having to load the Racial Unit Reskin mod + the balance mod, the content of the former could be included in the latter, and users would have to load only one mod).
Upgrades from the Racial Governance system, Empire Quests (see discussion about Multiculture and the more general issue of the weaknesses of multi-races strategies) and strategic spells (currently too expensive to be interesting compared to summons in most cases) would be obvious candidates for rebalancing but such balancing will be conducted only if the community is interested in them.

Changelog of v1.2 (see full changelog of the balance mod)
General changes
- The Healing ability of heroes and leaders (Theocrat and Archdruid upgrade and item’s ability) can be used only Once per battle (was 2 turns cooldown)
- Converted units cost more in upkeep:+25% gold / turn
- Units acquired during a fight (mind-controlled or ghouled) start with 0 MP on the strategic map
- Skilled Adventurer’s Slingshot (Common) has Slingshot and Animal Slayer (was Slingshot and Befriend Animal)
Siren’s Musical Box is Epic-rarity and has Siren’s Vail (was Strong rarity and had Seduce)
Ashes of the Reaper (Epic) has Turn Undead, Undead Slayer and Energy Drain (was Control Undead)
Karissa’s Perfume (Legendary) has Cause Berserk (Medium Range, cast Berserk on target enemy unit) (was Seduce)
Divine Sceptre of the Theologian (Mythical) has Weaken and, once per battle, can give Instant Wrath to target touched unit (was Convert + Weaken)
Meandor’s Autobiography (Mythical) has High Elf Slayer + Human Slayer + Black Bolts + Invoke Death (was High Elf Slayer + Human Slayer + Black Bolts + Inflict Ghoul Curse)
- Items produced in the Arcane Item Forge can add the following abilities: Lesser Charm, Lesser Befriend Animal, Lesser Control Undead, Lesser Seduce (was Charm, Befriend Animal, Control Undead, Seduce)
Lesser Seduce has spirit strength 10
- Items produced in the Arcane Item Forge which gives mind-control abilities, immobilization abilities (Entangling Touch, Freezing Touch, Petrifying Touch, Stunning Touch, Webbing Touch) or Healing are associated to Weapon items (were associated to Use items)

Arch Druid
- Frostling Shaman and Draconian Shaman cost 130 gold and 30 mana (was 140 gold and 30 mana for the Frostlind and 130 gold and 40 mana for the Draconian)
- Orc Hunters get Inflict Crippling Wound on Veteran
- Goblin Hunters get Blight Concealment

- Juggernauts produced in Halfling and Elf cities do not have Tree Crusher
- Juggernauts produced in Halfling and Elf cities have Forestry

- Lesser Reanimate Undead and Greater Reanimate Undead give Undying to their target. These abilities can target only Undead and Ghoul units and cannot target corpses (was reanimate it at 50% and 75% HP respectively)
- Ghouling Strike has strength 10 (was 11)
- Raise Corpse reanimate cadavers with 75% HP (was 100%), Greater Reanimate Undead reanimate units with 50% HP (was 75%)
- Raise Corpse reanimate units without any medal
- Whispers of the Fallen cannot appear in the Research Book or be already researched at the beginning of the game
- Inflict Curse costs 5 (was 4)

- Rogue heroes and leaders can now choose Scouting: all units in the stack gets +4 MP – cost 10, available at level 13
- Assassins of King costs 5 (was 6), available at level 9 (was 11)
- Urban Stealth Commander costs 5 (was 6), available at level 7 (was 9)
- Stealth Commander costs 4 (was 5)

- Death March costs 60 CP to cast (was 40)

- Halfling T1 have Lesser Mighty Meek (+1 defense, +1 damage for each tier level difference with the defender)
- Halfling military RG2 also gives +1 ranged damage to Hunters (was only to Adventurer, Martyr, Scoundrel and Bard)

For information, please also find below the changes confirmed for v1.21 so far and keep in mind that the list is incomplete and will be edited in the coming days/weeks!

Changelog of v1.21 (to be completed)
- Transform Mana Node can target any Mana Node (was can target only basic - i.e. non elemental - Mana Node)

Partisan (specialisation)
- Guerilla Tactics apply to all units (was only Infantry and Irregular)
- War Anthem costs 20 CP to cast (was 30 CP). If it fails, the unit suffer -100 morale instead (was no effect if it failed).

Have you ever thought this spell is very very situational and cannot be used in most cases? Well, not anymore with the changes that will be brought by the balance mod (see below)

Earth (specialisation)
- Domain of Earth gives +1 defense to allied units in the enchanted city’s domain.
- Slow costs 9 CP and 300 RP (was 10 CP and 350 RP)
- City Quake costs 90 CP (was 100 CP)

Air (specialisation)
- Domain of Winter gives +1 ranged damage to allied units in the enchanted city’s domain.
- Artic Empire gives Inflict Chilling and Inflict Frostbite to units in your domain.

Fire (specialisation)
- Domain of the Sun gives +1 fire damage to allied units in the enchanted city’s domain.

Destruction (specialisation)
- Domain of Corruption gives +1 Blight damage to allied units in the enchanted city’s domain.
- Blight Empire gives Inflict Curse to allied units in your domain.

Special thanks to the core team working on balance: marcusers, Jean de Metz, Hellbrick, mauvebutterfly and to all the others: Skuns453Lirik902, xlnt, Shakey, Tussell, gladis, Eskild, rrrrookie, Dementrophobic, Jolly Joker, Lightform, Gilafron, AlXStormrage, Fistandantilus, cbower, DreadReapr, Evgendil, Starfleck, gabthegab, jabst, BBB, Jonny Thunder, Lykus, Domino25, Ifoso, The Mentat.

Created on: 24.12.2016 at 15:00:57

Related Links

» Official forum thread of the PBEM balance mod (for announcements)
» Beta branch of the PBEM balance mod on Steam Workshop
» Main branch of the PBEM balance mod on Steam Workshop

Comments on the article

Published on 2017-02-12 04:02:39

You have the full changelog on that GoogleDoc (updated each time a new version is about to be released):
The link is also in the article "see full changelog of the balance mod"
I would like to add all what brings the balance mod in the Wiki but it's a huge work, especially if we want to have in parallel what is the official version and what is in the balance mod. If someone is interested to help in that work, we can discuss it and implement it together.

Published on 2017-02-12 00:18:33

PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod v1.2 about to be released

Is there a complete list of the abilities for the latest version?  I'm looking for something that shows new stats and level-listing, similar to what was once published on the AoW3 wiki (  Thanks.

Published on 2017-01-06 17:05:47

v1.2 has been implemented on the beta branch.

Some changes still need to be implemented and may be modified for technical reasons:
- Halfling T1 have Lesser Mighty Meek (+1 defense, +1 damage for each tier level difference with the defender)
- Raise Corpse reanimate units without any medal
- Halfling T1 have Lesser Mighty Meek (+1 defense, +1 damage for each tier level difference with the defender)

For GoG users, you can find the .taf here:

It should be released on the main branch on January 30 more or less.

Published on 2017-01-01 19:24:00

PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod v1.2 about to be released


Published on 2017-01-01 18:23:27

PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod v1.2 about to be released

Very good start for a new year. When will 1.2 released for testing?