Topic: SpearWall

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  • #4045
    Avatar photoMrCrim

    I noticed it seemed to get a nerf on a previous update (Changed AI to be more cautious of spearwalls). But now they just stand there is it makes the ability useless. Anyone else haven a problem with spearwall being good since the nerf.

    Avatar photoSky

    So far all I’ve seen is that instead of damaging the spearwall became something like a stopping zone. Placing spearwalls on the sides of the wall formation makes the enemies go in middle or start going the long way around. When placed in terrain chokepoints the enemies still do try to approach it. It became more of a tactical choise now than a widespread use. It did not change anything for me, was already using only 2 spearman placed on tactical approach points. But it might have change up a lot for people who were using it’s damage advantage heavily.

    Avatar photoguidon101

    First, in my opinion, I think the AI adjustments to the skill (and reactions to other skills too, like shieldwall) are great and going in the right direction!

    With regard to the Spearwall experience, I noticed the same as you that the AI tend to avoid spearwalls now, but not always, as Sky mentioned. In addition to having no choice on choke points, I also notice the AI may have a “skill confidence check” routine where it knows that I just put up a Spearwall with a level 1 recruit with bad melee skill, so actually it doesn’t mind charging at him and seeing his spear consequently whiff.

    In short, with more I in AI, I think this is a good change. As awesome as it was for my team to have the AI impale themselves like mindless zombies on my spearwalls, it was just bad AI, so the new challenging behavior is so very welcome. The fact that the AI avoid it under certain conditions is exactly something that makes the skill even more useful now in a tactical way, as Sky pointed out (i.e. if the enemy wants to take the scenic route, around my spearwall, please feel free to take some arrows in the face while they are it) — the AI adapted to player tactics, now the players get to adapt to the AI tactics, and good gameplay ensues!

    So, IMO I wouldn’t call it a nerf to Spearwall, but an upgrade to the AI.

    Avatar photoRap

    Yeah, the Spearwall skill itself wasn’t nerfed, the AI was just tweaked slightly in handling it by adjusting the value of a single constant that determines to what lengths it will go to avoid running into spearwalls. Wiedergangers still charge mindlessly into spearwalls, but they’re supposed to, as having no regard for their own safety or any tactical considerations is part of their identity as mindless undead.

    Generally speaking we’ll always try to enable the AI to handle certain player tactics more intelligently before taking out the nerf bat. I have a bunch of AI improvements on my todo, it’s just that fixing technical issues is a priority still.

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    Avatar photoGOD

    I adore this kind balancing. :D It’s a big relief to know that this is the approach you’re taking, rather than just looking at damage numbers. Tweaking the AI keeps spearwalls useful and makes the enemy feel more alive (when alive) because they actually react to you using it, rather than just jumping into the meatgrinder. It adds more tactical depth to the game as well since I can now use spears to either deny ground, funnel enemies in a direction or force them to fight on my terms, just like how real spears are used. Details like this really add a lot of life to combat and how you approach different enemies.

    Avatar photoMrCrim

    Ya seems like i just have to change my battle strategy. I Tend to have like 6 spear walls and hold them down then send in other units to finsh them off. i think i will just have to use them to cover flanks now.

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