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Autor Thema: Wait a second: Catapults?  (Gelesen 244 mal)


  • Edain Balancetester
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Wait a second: Catapults?
« am: 7. Aug 2018, 17:49 »

I’d like to address a significant imbalance that may have been previously overlooked:

The Imbalance:

Mobile catapults are capable of shooting, then instantly moving, whereas wall-catapults are not.

The Problem:

In practice this means mobile catapults can shoot and 100% hit stationary wall-catapults AND can dodge any incoming retaliation shots.

The only way in which a wall catapult can hit a ‘well-microed’ mobile catapult is to turn off auto-fire, then predict where the catapult would be and then bombard that area. Clearly this is a difficult task, especially in the heat of battle with other areas to defend. Meanwhile, the attacking player need only right click on the wall catapult.

This huge imbalance in micro-difficulty inevitably results in the attacker winning the catapult battle. Especially when you consider the fact that the attacker will have more catapults: They have more money to afford more upgraded catapults – exacerbated by the hard-limit on wall-catapult build spots.

I believe this is one of the reasons why catapult battles were/are so prevalent in edain sieging. The attacker is highly rewarded! Destroy the enemy catapult – removing their only weak defence – then destroy the walls/ base buildings with your catapults.

A Solution?

I’d recommend that mobile catapults have a stance toggle (like mounted vs unmounted toggle for heroes) in which one stance allows them to move but not shoot and the other to shoot but not move. A transitionary time would have to be included between stances: a kind of ‘set-up time’ (again, like mounted vs unmounted toggle).

Mobile catapults would therefore retain an advantage but would not be near-invulnerable to their stationary counterpart.

Balance of power:

I’d also recommend that wall-catapults be significantly more powerful than mobile catapults, to address the outnumbering issue.

Of course, this would be a fine balance, as we wouldn’t want the balance of power to completely reverse, with wall catapults becoming invulnerable.

The Goal:

The ideal situation would be that mobile catapults alone would NOT be enough to win a siege (catapult-battling) but rather, they are one tool in the arsenal of other siege units used to defeat the enemy. So that the attacker wins the siege with multiple simultaneous threats that overwhelm the enemy – instead of winning by making 10 catas and gg.

I think the stance change would be the necessary first step (removing the micro-imbalance), followed by careful balancing (combating the outnumbering-issue).

Beyond gameplay:

If you think about it, it does make logical sense: a historical trebuchet would not be able to move 10 feet then instantly shoot a boulder then instantly mover again. Also, a more powerful wall catapult would make sense as these could be set up potentially years in advance on a real fort and huge powerful mobile trebuchets would take forever to move and set-up. Of course, historical (/ lore) accuracy is not the best route to good gameplay, but I feel like this is a nice case where logic and gameplay suggest the same solution.

Exceptions to this rule could include Ents, which I think should be able to move and shoot instantly (as it suits the unit) but should therefore be nerfed in some other way – which they kind of already are! they catch fire!

Thanks for reading let me know what you think!

P.S stronger wall-catapults could help in the ‘snowball-effect too!’
Euggghhh, I'm dead - Gildor 2017


  • Thain des Auenlandes
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Re: Wait a second: Catapults?
« Antwort #1 am: 8. Aug 2018, 03:55 »
Hmm, a "deploy/undeploy" function for catapults would balance out their maneuverability quite considerably.

I like this!


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Re: Wait a second: Catapults?
« Antwort #2 am: 8. Aug 2018, 10:24 »
I like this!

Me too. It would also make catapults more vulnerable for flank attacks and counterattacks with troops.
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  • Edain Betatesting
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Re: Wait a second: Catapults?
« Antwort #3 am: 8. Aug 2018, 11:36 »
Yeah, I agree with this. I don't know if it would work with AI, for example, but it is a good solution to the problem. My only gripe with it would be if AI was unable to use Catapults.

But overall, good idea!

Captain Jin

  • Bilbos Festgast
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Re: Wait a second: Catapults?
« Antwort #4 am: 10. Aug 2018, 05:14 »
Making catapults toggle into stationary (and I assume have a cooldown on that change) might also require an accuracy reduction and range increase. Which honestly sounds like it would make fights more interesting and also fit what sieges should be looking like in the next update. I like this idea a lot!


  • Bilbos Festgast
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Re: Wait a second: Catapults?
« Antwort #5 am: 11. Aug 2018, 17:41 »
I also agree. If I recall correctly, Age of Empires trebuchets had a similar mechanic where they were unable to attack when moving and stationary while attacking. From a historical perspective though, I'm not sure ALL catapults would operate this way. Gondor's catapults would for sure, but if I recall, Rohan and Imladris have Onagar-style catapults, which were designed to be more mobile. In terms of real life catapult mechanics, I think Gondor's and maybe Angmar's might be the only ones to work this way.


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Re: Wait a second: Catapults?
« Antwort #6 am: 12. Aug 2018, 03:34 »
Age of Empires II did have that mechanic with trebuchets. Even the cannons in AoE3, while still able to move while deployed, were much, much slower. It gave siege engines a much needed vulnerability.


  • Held von Helms Klamm
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Re: Wait a second: Catapults?
« Antwort #7 am: 12. Aug 2018, 14:59 »
I like the idea too :)


  • Edain Community Moderator
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Re: Wait a second: Catapults?
« Antwort #8 am: 12. Aug 2018, 15:29 »
I'm quite unsure about the whole concept, to be honest.
I do remember trebuchets from Age of Empires II and their own particular features; while they truly suffer a bit from their more static nature, we should also take into account that, once set up and assembled, trebuchets make for a formidable siege weapon, able to take down even the most well-defended castles with not so many hits (disposing of the longest and widest range in the entire game, if I'm not wrong).

Said that, I doubt such system could be fitting for the Mod. We're talking about a far more dynamic context and Age of Empires is unanimously acclaimed as the quintessence of sieges and mediaeval-style skirmishes. The next patch will have siege at its core, of course, although there are a myriad of other factors that come into play (like spells, heroes or magic). Not as siege-based as Age of Empires anyway, because things function differently in the BFME universe.
Making trebuchets more vulnerable would also have to be compensated by increasing their damage and widening the range, which kind of takes us again to the starting point: too powerful catapults.
On the other hand, however, I think it would be fine to differentiate among different siege weapons. As someone pointed out above, some factions utilise actual trebuchets, while others make use of catapults resembling more the versatile onagri. So, further differentiation and other unique improvements could be surely of benefit.

Nevertheless, I agree on wall catapults. Being fully stationary by default, they might be given more damage and range capacity without a doubt. They're after all fashioned on the exact trebuchets placed on the walls of Minas Tirith.
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