PBEM and Single Player Balance Mod v1.23 released: a small but impactful update (Community)

Released on its beta branch only 1 month after v1.22, the balance's mod v1.23 contains only 10 main changes but its impact on heroes' and Leaders' builds should still be significant. This small updates focuses on making rarely used heroes and Leaders' abilities more useful, brings light adjustments to Necro and a few other small fixes/changes.

An Article by Hiliadan

Breaking the slow pace of release that had characterised v1.22 (first release on the beta branch in July 2017, 3 months after the finalization of v1.21, and then more than 3 months elapsing before the "official" release on the main branch in early November), v1.23 is a small update that re-establish the previous rhythm of one release every 2-3 months. The objective is both to be more responsive to emerging and unplanned balanced concerns, and to accelerate the pace of development of the mod, to be able to deal with all the major concerns that were expressed by the community during the consultation about the main balance issues (its results are displayed in this article). Balance is a never ending issue but it should be possible to deal with all major imbalances in a reasonable time frame, and leave only minor issues unattended.

v1.23 is already available on the beta branch of the balance mod and will be released on the main branch around 20 February.

The guiding principles of v1.23:

Abilities have been made more interesting by tweaking their costs and, in some cases, improving their benefits: e.g. Infiltration Squad now gives IMPROVED Wall Climbing

  • Continuing to tweak the balance for Necro (Ghouling Strike, Energy Drain), with further tweaks to come in future updates of the mod;

  • Starting to make rarely used units more interesting: the first change implementing this priority for balance (see poll) facilitates access to produced Succubus, but (much) more will come in v1.24;

  • Fixing recently discovered issues and bringing adjustments: Combat Healing's cooldown, Public Bath, over-powerful heroes from Cosmic Events (who could be mind-controlled, harming end-game power balance), and the possibility to reach Sage (Empire Quest) very early with luck and Storm Magic + Planetary Alignment.

On a related note, Der Mentat announced on the Steam Workshop's page of his compatibility mod for the Empire Building mod and the balance mod that he would probably update it in December, to take into account v1.22 (and then compatibility for v1.23 probably in 2018?).

As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, in the future, v1.24 should bring many more changes to make rarely used units (e.g. racial Pikemen and built Dwelling units) more interesting to build. Future versions should also start tackling one key aspect of the game, Racial Governance, but also non-summon strategic spells, many of which are uncompetitive compared to summon spells and a few very good strategic spells (e.g. Death March, Mana Fuel Cell, Iron Grip, etc.).

Full changelog of v1.23 (also available on the official changelog of the balance mod)
- Combat Healing starts with an initial 3 turns cooldown (was 4 turns).
- Spell upgrades for heroes cost 4 (was 5), except:
Chaos Rift (stay at 5)
Chain Lightning (stay at 5)
Last Stand (stay at 5)
Slayer’s Doubt (stay at 5)
Stiffen Limbs (stay at 5)
Repair Fortification: costs 3

Illustration of the cost decrease for heroes' spells with some Rogue spells

- Dirty Half Dozen costs 3 upgrade points (UP) (was 4)
Infiltration Squad gives Improved Wall Climbing (was Wall Climbing)
Chaplain costs 4 UP (was 3)
Pest Control Squad costs 4 UP (was 5)
Charge Command costs 4 UP (was 5)
Fleet Command gives Fast Embark and Mariner (was Mariner)
Holy Champion costs 4 UP (was 5)
Nature’s Resistance costs 4 UP (was 3)

Fleet Command's interest has been raised by giving Fast Embark to units benefiting from it

- Public Bath costs 120 gold (was 150)
- Heroes appearing in Cosmic Events have Mind Control Immunity
- A new setting is available for “Defenders Strength”: “Strong with Normal rewards”: Treasure sites do not give +50% reward value any more [this was not implemented due to technical issues]

Arch Druid

- Twisting Roots cannot start researched (was: could be a starting spell)


- Ghouling Strike has strength 8 (was 9)
- Energy Drain has a physical strength 10 (was spirit strength 10)
- Ghouled cities can be Plundered and Hasty Plundered (was only possible to Purify, Raze or – if playing Necro – Migrate them)  [this was not implemented due to technical issues]


- Succubi cost 150 gold and 30 mana (was 170 gold and 30 mana)


- Storm Magic is T5 (was T6).

Created on: 20.12.2017 at 23:07:51

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
» Dropbox folders with latest balance mod files (for non Steam users)