Upgrade mechanics in depth analysis
Damage reduction is calculated as such:
x = Resist; Reduction% = x / (x + 100)
For example, if you have 100 resist, this creates 100/200, or 50% reduction in damage taken from that source!
Is this for both, magical and physical defense?
It's good to know the formula, but can you tell us if units actually have base resist and if that base resist is always the same or different per unit type?
Also, this makes is seem like defense upgrade is just straight up worse than attack upgrade. For simplicity lets say we have a unit that deals 100 damage and another one that has 0 resist (since I don't know what the actual base resist is if it even exists) and 1000 HP (or hips as once called in the dev steam :P ):
No Upgrade: 0% reduction
Lvl 1: 10 / (10+100) = 9.09 % reduction
Lvl 2: 20 / (20+100) = 16.67 % reduction
Lvl 3: 30 / (30+100) = 23.08 % reduction
Lvl 4: 40 / (40+100) = 28.57 % reduction
The effect this reduction has on the effective HP (EHP) is as follows:
No upgrade: 0% reduction = 1000 EHP
Lvl 1: 9.09 % reduction = 1091 EHP (+9.09% EHP gain when compared to no upgrade)
Lvl 2: 16.67 % reduction = 1167 EHP (+6.97% EHP gain when compared to lvl 1)
Lvl 3: 23.08 % reduction = 1231 EHP (+5.48% EHP gain when compared to lvl 2)
Lvl 4: 28.57 % reduction = 1286 EHP (+4.47% EHP gain when compared to lvl 3)
(Numbers have been rounded according to the usual rules of mathematics. If for some reason the game always rounds up or always rounds down, numbers might be slightly different but it won't have much or an impact.)
So according to this the EHP gain for each level is as follows:
No upgrade: No EHP gain
Lvl 1: +91 EHP (total gain of 91 EHP)
Lvl 2: +76 EHP (total gain of 167 EHP)
Lvl 3: +64 EHP (total gain of 231 EHP)
Lvl 4: +55 EHP (total gain of 286 EHP)
As you can see, defense upgrade keep getting worse the more often you get them. While the first one might be worth it, adding 9.09% EHP to you units, the 4th defense upgrade only adds 5.49% EHP compared to the 1000 starting HP (or 4.47% compared to the 1231 HP or the lvl 3 Upgrade). That makes defense upgrade level 4 39.6% less effective than defense upgrade level 1 while costing 250% of the level 1 upgrade.
Thats 75.84% less effective per shard for level 4 than for level 1.
Alright, now lets compare that to attack upgrades:
No Upgrade: 100 dmg
Lvl 1: 100 dmg +15% = 115 dmg
Lvl 2: 100 dmg +30% = 130 dmg
Lvl 3: 100 dmg +45% = 145 dmg
Lvl 4: 100 dmg +60% = 160 dmg
Lets see how the percentage damage gain for each level on top of the levels before is:
No Upgrade: No additional damage
Lvl 1: +15% dmg (+15% increase compared to no upgrade)
Lvl 2: +15% dmg (+13.04% increase compared to lvl 1)
Lvl 3: +15% dmg (+11.54% increase compared to lvl 2)
Lvl 4: +15% dmg (+10.34% increase compared to lvl 3)
As we can see, both, attack and defense upgrades, become less effective with higher upgrades when compared to the level before. However, for attack upgrades the actual value, by which the damage is increased, stays the same (in this case 15 damage per level), while for the defense upgrade, the effective HP gained becomes less with higher upgrade levels.
Now let's see how the upgrades interact:
No Upgrades: 1000 EHP / 100 dmg / hit = 10 hits needed
Lvl 1: 1091 EHP / 115 dmg / hit = 9.49 hits needed
Lvl 2: 1167 EHP / 130 dmg / hit = 8.98 hits needed
Lvl 3: 1231 EHP / 145 dmg / hit = 8.49 hits needed
Lvl 4: 1286 EHP / 160 dmg / hit = 8.04 hits needed
Now before someone comes in saying you can only do full hits so fractions are always rounded up: Yes, but thats assuming the unit has 100 base damage. if its 10 base damage instead, we have 100/95/90/85/81 hits needed for attack and defense upgrades at the same level.
As we can see, defense upgrades are a lot worse than attack upgrades. You need 5.1% / 10.2% / 15.1% / 19.6% less hits for levels 1/2/3/4 for both sides respectively.
Now let's look at the extremes (attack 4 versus defense 0 and attack 0 vs defense 4):
Attack upgrade level 4 - Defense upgrade level 0:
1000 EHP / 160 dmg / hit = 6.25 hits needed
Attack upgrade level 0 - Defense upgrade level 4:
1286 EHP / 100 dmg / hit = 12.86 hits needed
Thats interesting. In case 1 (Attack 4 - Defense 0) we need 37.5% less hits for the kill while in case 2 (Attack 0 - Defense 4) we only need 28.6% more hits for the kill. However, these are extreme cases and it's more likely that people have at least some upgrades if the enemy has a lvl 4 upgrade.
Now all that is true if units do not have any base resist. If a unit has base resist, the discrepancy becomes even higher. Let's assume out 1000 HP unit has 50 base resist. Thats makes is have a base damage reduction of 50/150 = 33.34% or 1333 EHP.
Let's see what it's base HP are with the upgrade levels (I'll spare you the calculations here and just put in the numbers):
No upgrades : 1333 EHP
lvl 1: 1375 (+42) EHP
lvl 2: 1412 (+37) EHP
lvl 3: 1444 (+32) EHP
lvl 4: 1474 (+30) EHP
Now the comparison between same level upgrades (attack and defense) for both sides:
No upgrades: 1333 EHP / 100 dmg / hit = 13.33 hits needed
Lvl 1: 1375 EHP / 115 dmg / hit = 11.96 hits needed
Lvl 2: 1412 EHP / 130 dmg / hit = 10.86 hits needed
Lvl 3: 1444 EHP / 145 dmg / hit = 9.96 hits needed
Lvl 4: 1474 EHP / 160 dmg / hit = 9.21 hits needed
Thats 10.4% / 18.5% / 25.3% / 30.9% less hits needed for the same levels of upgrades of 1-4 respectively just because the base resist was set to 50. To remind you, with a base resist of 0 the values were 5.1% / 10.2% / 15.1% / 19.6% less hits needed.
- Attack upgrades are, other circumstances ignored, straight up better than defense upgrades.
- Attack upgrade vs defense upgrade of the same level result in an advantage for the person with the attack upgrade.
- The discrepancy between the upgrades gets bigger with higher upgrades
- The first defense upgrade is the most valuable and it costs the least. Higher defense upgrades not only cost more, they also have a lot less impact than attack upgrades of higher levels.
- With upgrades getting higher as the game progresses, damage oriented units get more and more of edge over defense oriented units.
- The higher a units base resist, the less it benefits from defense upgrades. This seems counter intuitive, as units that are designed to be tanky do not benefit as much from tanky-upgrades.
I don't know if this is intended or not and it would be nice if a dev could reply and answer that question.
Furthermore, regardless of this being intended or not, I think it causes some problems. With white and red being more of the damage oriented races and therefore eventually getting an edge over the other 2 races, especially blue, when upgrades start to really kick in in the later stages of the game, I think blue should have an edge over at least white and red in the early stages of the game to compensate for that and to be able to take and attempt to keep the lead while red/white can attempt a comeback with their eventually stronger armies due to upgrades. However, it currently does not feel like this is the case. It feels like all races are pretty evenly balanced in the early game which makes defensive deck setups straight up worse than offensive ones due to no disadvantage without and an advantage with upgrades.
I am looking forward to how this will play out and really wanna know if this is intended or if it was intended to actually have upgrades cancel each other out, which was my initial impression.
Additionally I'd like to request that we get information about resist base values of units. Do they even have base resist? If yes, what is the base resist for every unit?
Also, I really but some work into this and I hope I can actually get a dev reply. I have already opened 2 Threads without a single reply and while for one thread it doesn't matter as it was just feedback, the other one was a straight up question to the devs about a specific mechanic which I have already posted on Saturday.
So please some dev reply to this (and maybe my quadrapus thread :P).