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Autor Thema: Loremaster Reconceptualization  (Gelesen 443 mal)


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Loremaster Reconceptualization
« am: 6. Feb 2018, 08:01 »
Several people have noted problems with the Loremasters, particularly their ability in sufficient numbers to effectively lock enemies into either debuffs, stuns, or fear and to spam heal your army. They’re also somewhat difficult to handle, being quite micro intensive especially in larger numbers. I’m aware that they are broken enough to be banned in competitive multiplayer matches.

A solution to this could be to make Loremasters prohibitively expensive and increase their CP. In my opinion, this is ultimately a Band-Aid solution to what I believe is a problem with their current concept altogether, especially when these units have the potential to be great without breaking the game.

In addition, several people have noted the lore problems with the Loremaster’s abilities, which seems to put them on the level of ancient, powerful elves such as Elrond and Galadriel and Istari such as Gandalf, Saruman, and Radagast. It can be argued that such power be reserved strictly for such heroes.

There are several aspects to my proposed solution. Core points will be bolded, specifics (such as numbers and exact effects) will be kept under the spoiler function.

1) Change the loremasters’ basic attacks to melee.

As evidenced by the match between RuudDevil and Necro, loremasters of light with just their basic attacks are able to force a player to retreat their Ring Mode Sauron while their stun and fear abilities helped keep Mordor’s army pinned down. Loremasters of wind are also far too effective, especially in numbers, in keeping enemy armies knocked down. Really, in sufficient numbers loremasters can generally be devastating and overpowering. While a valid strategy would be to focus them down, their ranged attacks and special abilities on top of their relatively high health (1000 hp last I checked) make them too easily protected.

Switching their attack to melee would make them far more vulnerable due to their relatively low armor and emphasize Imladris’ prominent weakness against massed archers/artillery.

To compensate and so that they don’t simply become generic or too easily slaughtered in a melee, their attacks would have special properties depending on the loremaster’s specialty.

2) Remove the loremasters’ current abilities.

I already covered the balance issues with the basic attacks and their abilities as well, especially when deployed in numbers (spam heal, fear, and stun). The nature of the abilities and basic attacks is such that one could potentially reach a critical mass of loremasters and be able to render enemy actions useless. Ultimately, I felt that the abilities, both basic and combined had to go, along with the ability to combine with each other.

I understand this will require compensation for the loss of such impressive abilities. Which leads me to the next part of my proposal.

3) With the abilities removed, Mystical Studies is replaced with this concept:

Distribution of Lore: Specialized loremasters attached to a battalion grant the battalion unique bonuses in addition to a boost in experience gain. Only one loremaster may attach to a battalion.

Advanced Distribution of Lore: The active abilities (minus the formation/weapon toggles) of battalions with a loremaster attachment are enhanced.

The library is also now given the new passive ability: Gathering of Lore, which has varying effects based on the current level of the library

LV. 2 Library: As long as an allied loremaster of a given specialty lives and is attached to a battalion, the following improvements are made to the static defenses.

  • Stone: Walls, gates, and defensive structures have increased armor against siege damage.
  • Seas: Floodgate expansions activate at a faster rate and mystical fountains heal at a greater rate. Walls, gates, and all defensive structures have increased resistance to elemental and magic damage.
  • Light: Defensive structures detect stealth.
  • Winds: Defensive Towers and Catapults have greater maximum attack range.

LV. 3 Library: As long as an allied loremaster of a given specialty lives, all allied units and heroes within a fortress with a library are granted the same bonuses of that specialty in addition to a boost in experience gain. Bonuses granted by the library and by a loremaster do not stack with each other. This does not affect unit abilities

My explanations and defense of these features

My goal in using them as unit attachments in Distribution of Lore to provide significant boosts would allow them to remain significant, give the Imladris army a pretty strong boost but with little to no potential to reach a critical mass where the enemy is rendered unable to do anything, as well as greatly reducing their micro-intensity and maintaining strategic diversity in the faction through the improvement of an already diverse array of abilities rather than creating even more unit abilities.

With Gathering of Lore I want to emphasize the library as a central structure to the Imladris faction: upgrading buildings, allowing access to abilities, providing the faction with its loremasters, and now providing powerful defensive bonuses in conjunction with the loremasters, emphasizing Imladris as a refuge. Given how powerful this makes the library, here are some methods I feel are proper ways to balance this:

  • Put a build cap on the library so that one has only one source of loremasters.
    Increase the library’s base cost.
  • Tweak the values of the loremasters themselves (their cost and/or command points) to better suit their new support role and the bonuses they confer. One might also place a cost for specialization.
  • Have each level of Distribution of Lore require Blacksmithing and Military Studies of the corresponding level to be researched as well. One can also include other “Studies” as pre-requisites – an Architectural Studies come to mind, which would affect buildings and defenses; Mystical Studies can be brought back, this time affecting the spellbook.

Regarding the abilities*, I want to give them characteristics relating to their element or to the Vala related to them (Stone – Aulë, Seas – Ulmo, Light – Varda, and Winds – Manwë). You may notice how some Seas abilities have relation to the ebb and flow of the sea and how others deal with protection from evil (relating to how the power of Ulmo flows through all bodies of water and how the forces of evil have difficulty with crossing these bodies). Water is also associated with healing. Wind has a characterization of speed and blowing enemies over. Stone has an association with endurance and stillness and is related to constructs. Aulë is also a smith and crafted all the materials of the earth. Light deals with sight, but Varda is also the Vala feared most by the enemies of the free peoples but an inspiration to the elves. I also want the enhancements to reflect the quality of the unit. Dunedain, for example, will gain modest enhancements, the elite units of Imladris would have greater and occasionally more complex enhancements, and heroic units will have very powerful and the most complex of the enhancements.


Given the elimination of their ranged abilities and relegation to a pure support role, I don’t think this would upset the game balance that much if at all, and Imladris’ vulnerability to sustained ranged attacks, especially to artillery, is still present even if I provided some soft counters, which comes at the cost of the other significant bonuses. The player also has to choose between using the Loremasters and making your army even more elite or bolstering the faction’s already low numbers with more regular units.

I am happy with the core of the concept. Any comments, questions, and suggestions would be much appreciated. If you could also give separate comments for both the core and the specific details, that would help me immensely. Also, while I am well pleased with the core of the concept, I am not a good judge of numerical values and how well they impact a game, so comments and suggestions in that area and regarding the specific enhancements for each active ability would be most appreciated.


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Re: Loremaster Reconceptualization
« Antwort #1 am: 6. Feb 2018, 10:25 »
Thank you for the long and elaborated concept.

But I'm against the concep as every single combination would require a completly new unit. Furthermore, about half of all the abilities aren't possible to implement and also the rest would cause bugs.


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Re: Loremaster Reconceptualization
« Antwort #2 am: 6. Feb 2018, 11:14 »
I was unaware of that kind of limitation. Thanks for letting me know.

Back to the drawing board!
« Letzte Änderung: 6. Feb 2018, 11:22 von NoldorSithLordsShipwright »


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Re: Loremaster Reconceptualization
« Antwort #3 am: 6. Feb 2018, 11:28 »
If there is no remark left to add, I think it would be wise to lock the topic. Nevertheless, I remember that we did discuss about possible improvements for Lore Masters in a past thread; it is still open and may therefore be read with ease. It is there, in case one were interested in the matter :)

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