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France Rikikipu
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02 Jul 2018, 18:09

Hello everyone, I would like to present to you a concern, a solution and a potential debate around around Musketeers (and affiliated).

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The concern : Indeniably, "normal" heavy infantry (pikeman, halbs, clubs, rods, rajput, etc) are really not used a lot compared to musketeers as anti-cav. It's true that they are still used sometimes, like when you do long bow pike because going pike here fits well in terms of resources when you have to make longbows, but by far musketeers are used much often by civs who got access to musks.

So what is the problem ? Are musketeers too strong or melee infantry (let's call them like that) too bad ?
  • Is melee infantry too bad ?
    I think they don't use too be op units, but most of them are decent. If you micro well your units, they can tank in cover mode during big range fight which is great and they do really really good damages when they catch cav, goons, and in a less extent skirms. Think about catching an army of goon/skirms with rods, that's pretty cool. Sadly they got rekt versus musketeers, because musketeers got 0.2 melee resist + they do damage range to pikes. So they are pretty good during melee battles, but as we all know the downside is that clearly get bad during range battles. They are most of the time useless Maybe some of them should be improved. I think pumas and rods are on a nice spot. Pikes and dops are ok. And halbs or rajput are bad. My conclusion is that there overall stats are ok, maybe some little tweaks should be done here and there, but they are okish.
  • Are musketeers too strong ?
    Yes. They are for various reasons. They are polyvalent which is by itself nice, and it seems to be the reason of their existence in the game. They are a cross unit between skirms and melee infantry units. Sadly they perfom too well in most of situations for an heavy infantry unit. They do well vs cav because they can shoot before cav reaches them, and once done, the first line of musk can go in melee mode while the musketeers behind can still do a range attack. Not even pathing problems like melee infantry units. They are ok vs goons, especially now that goons range resist is nerf on EP. They do perform well versus range units if they don't get hit and run. Their 75 food 25 gold cost imply an easy macro. To sum up they are easy and too strong in most cases. What even more is terrible, is that destroy melee infantry units.

Idea :
Basic : Reduce musk attack (or eventually their HP). Improve stats of some melee infantry units. That would imply that the meta would be really different I think. We would probably see a better balance of units composition. and that would be even more dynamic. Ideally diverse unit composition a la china (changdao is a decent unit) makes civs and game more dynamic and challenging to play.

Let's debate, what are your thoughts on that ?
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Germany yemshi
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02 Jul 2018, 18:13

err, no i z-move
No Flag Zhanson10
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02 Jul 2018, 18:19

Perhaps musketeers could have a negative multiplier vs skirms and goons? I'm okay with musks destroying hand infantry, but when they can chase down your skirms and annihilate them, there's a problem. Also, xbows ought to have a higher multiplier vs heavy infantry.
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Italy Garja
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02 Jul 2018, 18:24

Most of HI is fine. Musketeer are too good being good both at meelee and ranged. If I had to nerf one stat it would be HP or the resistance. Being more armored than like pikes doesn't make much sense design and balance wise.
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France [Armag] diarouga
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02 Jul 2018, 18:28

Well musketeers are just as good as melee units in melee but they also have a range attack, so yes they're much better.
I think that the reason they're that good is because the game devs didn't expect players to micro (since aoe3 is a noob friendly game), and didn't take the hit and run/cav backing into account.

I would say that musketeers are strong for sure, but the issue is that melee units are too bad. Why would you ever train halbs? Or pikes? Rajupts are a joke. They all fucking suck. The only okish melee unit is the rodolero because of his speed.
The issue is that even in cover mode they die too fast (and I have experienced that a lot with brits while going lb/pike). In ranged wars they actually die faster than ranged units in cover mode, and don't deal damages.

They're indeed great when they catch cav or goons, but how often does that happen? Halbs are fucking slow so no way they catch a group of cav, and it never happens with pikes. The only decent melee unit as you said is the rod because they can actually catch skirms and cav and they deal a lot of damage. Still, even rods aren't really used because most high level players can hit and run forever.
Rods indeed lose to musketeers but that's irrelevant, in age 3 you'd rather have rods.

All in all, I would say that rods are okay, pumas and changdaos are awkward but since Azz and China don't have musks it's the only choice, same goes for dopps, however pikes are trash, same with rajputs and halbs.

Musketeers aren't too strong though

While it's true that they're very dominant in age 2 games because they have no counter, they're totally useless in age 3 because they get kited by skirm/goon. They're a polyvalent early game unit, great to defend and control the map, but once both players reach the 3rd age, they suck, so they're really not an issue.
How often do you see musk spams in high level games? In brit and jap mirrors, that's it. In other MUs people just tend to semi ff and skirm/goon

Conclusion

1)There's no reason to nerf musketeers, they're great in age 2 but useless later, which is fine. Furthermore it would break the current game balance because some civs have musks, and some don't, and currently I'd say that the best civs are the civs without musks, so nerfing musks would have negative consequences.

2) However, it's true that melee units are too weak. Thus buffing pikes (like add range resistance or HP so that they don't die too fast against musks/skirms) could be an idea, and I would like that.

3) Still, it's pointless to buff halbs and rajpoutes, because halbs are only available in age 3 and in age 3 you want goons instead. And same goes for the rajputs.
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France [Armag] diarouga
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02 Jul 2018, 18:29

Zhanson10 wrote:Perhaps musketeers could have a negative multiplier vs skirms and goons? I'm okay with musks destroying hand infantry, but when they can chase down your skirms and annihilate them, there's a problem. Also, xbows ought to have a higher multiplier vs heavy infantry.

Eh, in what world do musks kill skirms lol? You can hit and run them forever and kill them all without losing a single skirm.
Great Britain Hazza54321
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02 Jul 2018, 18:54

i wouldnt nerf muskets, id buff melee inf resist
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France Kaiserklein
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02 Jul 2018, 18:54

In which world can you hit and run musks forever with skirms lol
Micro tricks

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Sweden Gendarme
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02 Jul 2018, 19:01

In the world of big armies
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France Kaiserklein
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02 Jul 2018, 19:56

Anyway, musks are too strong in colo. I don't like the idea of nerfing them, because musks kind of suck whenever skirm/goon is involved, so nerfing musks would make them even worse in fortress. Musks are also such a common unit, nerfing them would realistically change balance too much.
Note that musks aren't really too strong against any civ having good RI in colo (otto abus, dutch skirms, chinese chu ko nus, jap yumis, aztec maces...), so to me it really feels like the problem is just how bad colonial RI is for certain civs. So I'd rather buff xbows so that they actually start countering musks.
Some melee inf units do fine (dops, pumas, arguably rods...) so they should not be buffed. Some others could get a buff I guess, for example pikes and rajputs. But honestly most civs have an alternative to these shitty melee inf units, so it's probably not necessary.
Micro tricks

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Armenia Sargsyan
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02 Jul 2018, 19:58

Facts
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Sweden deadrising78
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02 Jul 2018, 20:50

nerfing musks gives us even more reason to semi ff goon skirm yay
Great Britain Hazza54321
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02 Jul 2018, 20:52

yea lets buff skirms give them ep4 wakina speed with inca upgrade
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United States of America TheFrozenStrelet
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02 Jul 2018, 21:10

Muskets do die really fast against skirms which makes them weak in age 3 or sometimes in age 2.
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New Zealand zoom
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02 Jul 2018, 21:11

I still think a Musketeer nerf would be good for the game. At least in combination with an Exiled-Prince and Fortress Age "The Messenger" nerf.
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Austria supahons
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02 Jul 2018, 21:40

some age2 changes could be good imo - eg buff xbow/pike slightly, rajput a lot, chinese pikes?, war club/cetan? quite weak units (i don't have enough experience with them), halbs are just too slow, rods are good vs cav/light inf but no all-round unit (maybe reduce the gold cost a bit?)
age3 nerfs the musk already - no need to change the whole meta i think
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Italy Garja
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02 Jul 2018, 21:57

Originally musketeers were balanced with nilla balance in mind. Xbow being stronger overall and not scared about cav is sort of an indirect nerf to musks. And then other units like strelets, jans or Dutch skirms do just fine.
In TWC xbows were the same as nilla. They also added native archers all with 2x vs HI.
TAD civs have OP RI so the OPness of musks is somewhat less dominant (well except for original ashigaru I guess).
So from a design POV there is definitely a problem (musks kinda shit over all other HI units).
From a balance POV it's mostly the choice to give RI a negative multiplier vs cav which makes them more hard counters and indirectly buffs musketeers.
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France Rikikipu
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02 Jul 2018, 22:59

Thats also a valid point to say that buffing wbow indirectly nerfes musks, but I feel that heavy inf would be even more underused
I wouldn't say that musks are useless age 3. Brits, Japan, India, Ottomans and russia use to make musk units oftenly in age 3. Which is 5/9 civs which can make musks.
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Turkey HUMMAN
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02 Jul 2018, 23:13

Musk both perform good in combat also good in siege. heavy inf kinda supposed to be worse in combat because they siege better than other units. Also hand inf are only ok in age 2 and early fortress, thus risky to do them if you are not going for a timing push i think. It's the game design of aoe3, and hand inf is consequence of it. Maybe we can reduce siege damage of musk idk and i agree xbow is needed.
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Serbia Atomiswave
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02 Jul 2018, 23:19

Buffing xbows is good idea, which has been suggested x times here. Buffed xbows will actually serve as real counter vs musks which is their role in the first place. In this state they are almost worthless.

On the other hand, civs that only have xbows as natural "counter" in age 2 have problems vs musks, especially if being attacked with large numbers of them. Others can handle musks just fine....
Great Britain Hazza54321
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02 Jul 2018, 23:47

Rikikipu wrote:Thats also a valid point to say that buffing wbow indirectly nerfes musks, but I feel that heavy inf would be even more underused
I wouldn't say that musks are useless age 3. Brits, Japan, India, Ottomans and russia use to make musk units oftenly in age 3. Which is 5/9 civs which can make musks.

hmm brits and russia would make goons > musks mostly tbh
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Kiribati SirCallen
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03 Jul 2018, 03:01

Don't nerf musk, makes the game less fun.
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France [Armag] diarouga
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03 Jul 2018, 04:55

Rikikipu wrote:Thats also a valid point to say that buffing wbow indirectly nerfes musks, but I feel that heavy inf would be even more underused
I wouldn't say that musks are useless age 3. Brits, Japan, India, Ottomans and russia use to make musk units oftenly in age 3. Which is 5/9 civs which can make musks.

Brits don't make musks in age 3.
And Japan/Otto/Russia do make musks in age 3, but that's awkward and only because they don't have goons. As for India, it's probably because sepoys are really strong and zams kinda suck.
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Germany Lukas_L99
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03 Jul 2018, 05:13

[Armag] diarouga wrote:
Rikikipu wrote:Thats also a valid point to say that buffing wbow indirectly nerfes musks, but I feel that heavy inf would be even more underused
I wouldn't say that musks are useless age 3. Brits, Japan, India, Ottomans and russia use to make musk units oftenly in age 3. Which is 5/9 civs which can make musks.

Brits don't make musks in age 3.
And Japan/Otto/Russia do make musks in age 3, but that's awkward and only because they don't have goons. As for India, it's probably because sepoys are really strong and zams kinda suck.


Dont u rather go ca with russia? How do zambs suck?
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France [Armag] diarouga
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03 Jul 2018, 05:41

Lukas_L99 wrote:
[Armag] diarouga wrote:
Rikikipu wrote:Thats also a valid point to say that buffing wbow indirectly nerfes musks, but I feel that heavy inf would be even more underused
I wouldn't say that musks are useless age 3. Brits, Japan, India, Ottomans and russia use to make musk units oftenly in age 3. Which is 5/9 civs which can make musks.

Brits don't make musks in age 3.
And Japan/Otto/Russia do make musks in age 3, but that's awkward and only because they don't have goons. As for India, it's probably because sepoys are really strong and zams kinda suck.


Dont u rather go ca with russia? How do zambs suck?

It depends on the situation. While it's true that in late game you'd rather want CA, they're hard to get because you need a stable (and you usually have 2 BH with Russia anyway), and a lot of gold. Furthermore, you'll always have some musks left from the 2nd age (between 15 and 20) so you want the vet upgrade anyway.
The thing is that in low numbers/low eco games, musketeers are much better. Would you rather have 5 vet musks or 2.5 CA? I think the answer is quite obvious.
Finally, CA can't hit and run which is super awkward.

As for zams, you need to build a stable and upgrade them (while you don't need a stable for sepoys so it's a 200w difference, and 200w is very important for India in early/mid game), which is awkward to begin with.
On top of that, I'd argue that zams suck yes. They're a rather expensive unit (60c is a lot), they die very fast against skirm/musks and even goon/hand cav lol. They're literally paper, fighting infantry or goons with zams is unthinkable, while goons actually do very well vs musks/HI, and even vs skirms if you have enough units.
Finally, they're not that good against actually. They counter hand cav for sure, but they're over rated because when people think of zamks, they think of full upgraded zams with the 30% attack shipment and the bonus, with both these upgrades they indeed molest hand cav, but before they're really awkward.

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