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DM Patch 2023 Proposal & Discussion


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  • Head Staff

Hey everyone, see below the first iteration of proposed changes for DM Patch 2023! 

This topic will be the best place to offer your feedback to help shape the next update. When you do, please make clear what aspects you are giving feedback on, and what specific situations need to be looked into. If there are problems in Patch 2022 that aren't being touched on here, we need to know what matchup, strategy and map combination needs testing attention. Be respectful to your fellow players and don't spam!

Disclaimer: Age of Mythology Definitive Edition MIGHT be announced at the end of October 2022, but it's safe to assume that it will be a while before it releases. While it's guaranteed to come with balance changes, we would still have a similar DM patch for the hardcore community and tournaments. Some further adjustments may be needed, but that remains to be seen. 

What is the DM Patch?

  • A mod that makes Deathmatch more enjoyable, action-packed and fair, disregarding the needs of other game modes.
  • Use for custom lobbies between veteran DM players, and for DM tournaments!
  • Adds 9 new maps, courtesy of RebelsRising, Hagrit, Flame, and Nakamura.
    • New maps: Arabia, Arctic Craters, Calm Shores, Frozen Wastes, Ghost Land, Mirage, Nile Delta, Olympus, Wetlands.
  • Maps are near-perfectly mirrored, but still randomly generated! Thanks to RebelsRising for making this happen.
    • Thanks to this equal opportunity for players, we are trying out water maps in DM (docks used to be banned before)!
  • Heavy-handed balance changes to make the game more action packed and fair. Overall philosophy below:
    • Significant buffs across the board to most pre-Mythic Age Myth Units.
      • Examples: Nemean Lion Roar now stuns, Phoenix significantly buffed, Water Myth significantly buffed.
    • Significant change-up of low-impact God Powers with weak scaling.
      • Example: Plague of Serpents doubled in strength, and controllable, which allows for picking off villagers. 
    • Significant changes to technologies, especially when not affecting DM.
      • Example: Rheia's Gift periodically spawns a Behemoth - it can't reduce the upgrade costs in DM!
    • Relics that don't affect DM (eg upgrade discounts) will not spawn, and effects normalized for higher game impact.
      • New Relics: Roc Egg - spawns a Roc periodically. Reed of Nekhebet: increases myth unit damage.
    • Towers, Fortresses and Walling nerfed to make the game more action-packed. Take the initiative to win!
      • The reduction of the Tower and Fortress limits forces players to carefully choose locations to fortify.
    • Each civ should be somewhat viable in all phases of the game. Asymmetric power spikes must be maintained, though.
      • Example: Atlanteans gain more recharges on most god powers to allow them to keep up longer with others.
    • All major gods, minor gods and units must have a valid use case. Niche stuff is acceptable, useless stuff is not!
      • Example 1: Late game cavalry made more viable via a nerf to Crenellations, and direct cav buffs in some places.
      • Example 2: Polyphemus replaced by Circe, making it possible for Poseidon to combat ranged myth units.
    • Informative tooltips help with learning the new balance, building upon the foundation of Ippert's Tooltip mod.

Changes vs DM Patch 2022:

Maps:

  • DM Tundra no longer spawns rocks
  • DM Alfheim cliff size approximately halved

General:

Naka's comments:

The Extended Edition attempted to reduce wall repair speeds, but the lines to do so are not actually affecting the game. This is now correctly implemented. DM patches have further touched on the area of massed walls, but with the repair now getting reduced, we can partially restore the build rates for the larger wall pieces. Given the highly aggressive nature of the DM maps, this should rein in the early game slightly.

  • Long wall piece build points: 17 -> 16 
  • Medium wall piece build points: 11 -> 10
  • Wall repair speeds reduced by 66% across the board

Atlantean:

Naka's comments:

Patch 2022 helped a lot with evening out the power levels between Kronos, and Oranos/Gaia, but we still see significantly more Kronos play as things stand. One of the main goals now is to take this one step further, and open up unused god paths, and to tweak the major god bonuses - Oranos and Gaia happen to have some without an effect on DM, which we should aim to address!

With that in mind, it seems like a reasonable call to further lean into Gaia's economy via Hero Citizens (more interesting than just flat buffs!), and Oranos' Sky Passages and TC vision.

Regarding inaccessible god paths, we absolutely must look at Prometheus and Rheia, which are easily the least used minor gods in the game currently. High impact god powers and myth units will be essential to making this work.

  • New Gaia bonus: +10% Hero Citizen Gather Rates
  • Gaia fishing ship discount: -10% -> -30%
  • New Oranos bonus: +20 Town Center LoS  
  • Sky Passage: Affected by Crenellations' track rating effect
  • Sky Passage damage: 5 -> 8
  • Safe Passage LoS effect: +6 -> +16
  • Servant HP: 300 -> 400
  • Servant damage: 8 hack, 4 crush -> 12 hack, 6 crush
  • Servants now benefit from DM's 25% healing buff
  • Promethean HP: 175 -> 200
  • Promethean Offspring HP: 80 -> 100
  • Valor units affected: 3 humans, 1 citizen -> 4 humans, 2 citizens
  • Heart of the Titans discount on Heroes: -20% -> -25%
  • Fire Ship range: 6 -> 10
  • Fire Ship track rating: 5 -> 6
  • Siege Bireme Pierce damage: 3 -> 2
  • Nereid HP: 400 -> 500
  • Nereid speed: 5 -> 6
  • Traitor cooldown: 3 -> 2 minutes
  • Behemoth hack armor: 30% -> 60%
  • New Rheia's Gift upgrade effect: Spawn a free Behemoth every 3 minutes
  • Onager cost: 150 wood, 150 gold -> 125 wood, 125 gold
  • Man O' War damage: 25 -> 35

Chinese:

Naka's comments:

The Chinese have been in a mostly reasonable place in Patch 2022, but Nu Wa still is the clear favorite. As part of the directive to replace effects that don't do anything in DM, let's give Fu Xi and Shennong something to replace the tech discounts, but still is related to the original intent of making War Academy and wall-heavy styles better.

Chinese favor is also uncharacteristically high in DM when considering how simple it is to keep the 10 Gardens going. Nu Wa ones will be generating slightly more favor (48/min with Dabo Gong 51 with He Bo) than 9 praying Zeus Villagers (47/min), while offering 10 extra population! Let's tone this down slightly, while leaving the basic variants untouched.

Heroic Age Myth Units haven't quite received a significant enough buff thus far to make their usage a serious consideration even in the early phases of DM, so let's bump up those stats once more.

Monks currently see little to no usage, but they are already fairly close to viability in terms of raw stats. A little more might do the trick!

Great Flood is currently capable of displacing entire armies and kill unlimited amounts of Villagers due to the lack of a damage cap. By reducing the number of waves and increasing their speed, we can make the displacement of enemies a greater focus, while drastically reducing the damage dealt. Given the size of the waves themselves, they need to be more spread out though with this setup to be able to hit more than a handful of units.

  • New Fu Xi bonus: +10% Halberdier and Chu Ko Nu damage
  • New Shennong bonus: +300 Wall HP
  • Nu Wa favor income bonus: +20% -> +10%
  • Wheelbarrow capacity effect: +10 -> +15
  • Qilin heal on death: 50 -> 100
  • Monk HP: 120 -> 130
  • Fire Ship range: 6 -> 10
  • Fire Ship track rating: 5 -> 6
  • Siege Junk pierce damage: 3 -> 2
  • Pixiu gold gathered during fighting: 3/s -> 5/s
  • Pixiu HP: 660 -> 750
  • House Altars favor bonus: +20% -> +10%
  • Jiangshi pierce/hack armor: 50/40 -> 70/70
  • War Salamander: Gains 2HP/s regeneration
  • War Salamander HP: 600 -> 700
  • Sacrifices favor trickle buff reverted: +9 /min -> +6/min
  • Great Flood's wave amount: 4 -> 2
  • Great Flood's wave spread: 6 -> 10
  • Great Flood's speed: 8.8 -> 13   

Egyptian:

Naka's comments:

The Egyptian civ has been performing rather well throughout the years, and DM Patch 2022 was no different.

Set does lag behind both Isis and Ra, but as of the 2022 update he has been closer than ever before to being competitive. More tweaks will be needed to allow him to survive hectic early games, and to provide a slightly more capable end game through doubling down on the archer buffs of this god. Quality of life changes here will include a shift in what animals get spawned upon age ups, making sure that each can contribute to combat in the openings.

Set's priests also have been blocked by animal conversion cooldowns, which will be further reduced to make the experience of queued conversions smooth. The setup we had before caused inconsistent conversion times. New values will be between 10 and 25 seconds depending on the value of the animal.

A very important nerf to the Egyptian navy will be matching the bonus damage vs buildings of their siege ships to those of the other civs. They will however maintain their higher crush damage to make up for the slower speed.

As part of Set's viability updates, as well as to address Isis' struggles in matchups where cavalry rushes can keep her from establishing a basic 3 TC setup, we are also normalizing the performance difference between basic Spearmen and Camelry when compared to their upgraded counterparts (Horus and Ra+Osiris). This will allow those that can't or don't opt for Horus to be able to better handle cavalry play as a whole. In exchange, seeing as this essentially increases the population efficiency of all Egypt, there will be compensation through Medjay and Rocs, as well as Phoenix respawns from eggs. The intent isn't to stop players playing Hathor though, and so we can increase the range of Locust Swarm a bit to reach just barely outside of the visible effect, as this was nerfed many times compared to the original game.

Lastly, further diversity will be brought to the Egyptian gameplay by making Anubis and Nephtys more attractive options. It is difficult to pass up Hathor and Sekhmet in DM, but perhaps we might get to see some Anubis-Horus spearmen, as well as Scorpion Man raids with this massively increased poison sting AoE. Regenerating Priests should also offer a more competitive counter to tough Myth Unit situations such as Fire Giant spams.

  • Flood of the Nile: 45 -> 60 food/min
  • Isis' Obelisk/Lighthouse discount: -50% -> -20%
  • Set Pharaoh HP bonus: +100% -> +150%
  • Set animals on age ups: Gazelles -> Apes, Giraffes -> Crocodiles
  • New Set bonus: +10% Laborer build rate
  • New Set bonus: +2 range for Archers
  • Set Priest convert cooldown: 10s -> 2s
  • Spearman bonus vs cavalry: +10% -> +20%
  • Plague of Serpents spawned units: 9 -> 10
  • Anubite damage: 13 -> 15
  • Anubite speed: 5.3 -> 5.5
  • Necropolis favor income effect: +25% -> +30%
  • Camelry damage: 8 -> 9
  • Camelry HP: 135 -> 140
  • Camelry bonus vs cavalry: x2 -> x1.75
  • War Barge damage vs buildings: -25% -> -50%
  • War Barge pierce damage: 3 -> 2
  • Scarab HP: 670 -> 800
  • Ancestors duration: 60s -> 90s
  • Ancestors spawned units: 18 -> 20
  • Scorpion Man HP: 600 -> 650
  • Scorpion Man sting damage: 3 -> 15
  • Scorpion Man poison AoE radius: 3 -> 5
  • Spirit of Maat regeneration effect: Affects Priests
  • City of the Dead Pharaoh respawn time: 40s -> 30s
  • Locust Swarm area of effect radius: 9 -> 10
  • Roc population cost: 3 -> 4
  • Medjay lifespan effect: +25s -> +20s
  • Phoenix train time from egg: 4 -> 6s
  • Desert Wind HP/damage/speed effects: +20% -> +15%
  • Greatest of Fifty bonus vs cavalry effect: +100% -> +80%

Greek:

Naka's comments:

While the Greek civ has been excellent at the top level, at the lower levels they appear to be the hardest civ to play due to having to allocate valuable Villagers to praying. This stops you from building and securing the map.

To reward players that manage this well, as well as to eliminate some difficult to understand income scaling, the change to praying efficiency makes it so that having 10, 11 or 12 Villagers on favor will actually increase your income rather than mostly just hurting you. At no point will adding prayers reduce or stagnate your income, with this change. Very high prayer counts will also be buffed as a result, feel free to check the numbers in this spreadsheet here.

Zeus has a major weakness against flying units - Poseidon has 2 ranged heroes now, Hades has Gastraphetes and better buildings (damage scales heavily here!), while Zeus only has Odysseus and Medusa as viable options. This could be somewhat alleviated by increasing Odysseus' HP slightly, and making Hera a more viable option - she's currently a bit of an all-in pick.

In patch 2022, Colossi (among others) were buffed in an attempt to help Zeus players compete a bit better, but this was touching upon the wrong area of the game - late game was never the weakness. Instead, let's revert this part and make the less used myth units more viable - Centaurs and Manticores were barely updated so far in the DM patches. Considering that these units were never designed to skirt around fully upgraded heroes, and that other options were significantly buffed, we certainly need to give them a little bump up!

It should be safe to say that Poseidon and Zeus are in a fantastic place in the current meta, ever since cavalry and Nemean Lions have been made viable.

  • Minimum Villager favor gathering efficiency: 0.3 -> 0.4
  • Odysseus HP: 300 -> 320
  • Centaur HP: 220 -> 250
  • Sylvan Lore HP effect: +25% -> +30%
  • Juggernaut pierce damage: 3 -> 2
  • Manticore pierce damage: 11 -> 14
  • Manticore range: 16 -> 18
  • Colossus HP buff reverted: 1100->1000
  • Colossus eating rate buff reverted: 20 HP/s -> 15 HP/s
  • Monstrous Rage damage effect: +25% -> +30% 
  • Athenian Wall HP effect on buildings: +20% -> +25%
  • New Trierarch upgrade effect for Triremes and Argo: +2 range 

Norse:

Naka's comments:

Norse are overall in a fantastic position in the meta, and have received some of the most detailed attention throughout the DM patching process. It was very difficult to find outliers that should be tweaked.

Heimdall has been in a decent place as a minor god, however Safeguard not affecting Hill Forts has always been off-brand. Adding this effect to the tech is a large buff, and so we have to rein in the numbers for Towers and Walls a bit. This should make it so that we get to see more cases where Heimdall gets picked for single front fights, as well as for defensive purposes, such as when Odin needs the help against cavalry playstyles, such as from Poseidon or Nu Wa.

Trolls have been decent fighters for a while, but they could use a little speed to better keep up with the rest of the army, and a little range as well to gain some additional use cases against flying units.

Hersirs are somewhat inefficient in DM due to their cost - both resources and population. Leaning more into them through Forseti would allow them to see some more play in the most intended case. This is especially significant for Loki, who is quite easily punished due to his linear playstyle when his Hersirs and myth units both get out-countered.

Lastly, Frost Giants haven't yet gotten their gold cost normalized to match other Heroic Age myth units. Given that they're one of the most heavily used ones, and Norse usually has significant gold reserves in DM, this should be a very low impact change until the Norse economy takes damage.

Mountain Giants and Krakens on the other hand have the opposite problem, costed with Mythic Age standards. In the case of Mountain Giants, players have gotten very good at blocking their path and forcing them to waste special attacks on ghost builds, and so a slight reduction here should help make Njord a little more prominent, while also helping Loki slightly.

Fire Giants are getting their special attack vs flyers disabled, as these never hit, and only ground units take damage.

  • Lone Wanderer speed effect: 10% -> 5%
  • Lone Wanderer: now affects Heroes and Archers
  • Safeguard HP effect on Walls: +600 HP -> +500 HP
  • Safeguard HP effect on Towers: +550 HP -> +500 HP
  • Safeguard: now affects Hill Forts with +500 HP and -25% costs
  • Troll range: 14 -> 16
  • Troll sped: 3.6 -> 4
  • Mithril Breastplate: Affects Hersirs
  • Dragon Ship pierce damage: 3 -> 2
  • Frost Giant cost: 200 gold -> 250 gold
  • Mountain Giant favor cost: 25 -> 22
  • Kraken food cost: 300 -> 250
  • Fire Giant special attack: no longer used vs flying units

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spear  +10% bonus damage against  cav
great of the fifty nerf from 100%  to 90% bonus damage against cav 

(spears are generally  bad vs their own counter which  makes full cav  with counter cav just too good )

camels 10% damage against seige
( for egy their only way to deal with seige or balista and towers is  spears but spears loses to pathing and  towers  and not to mention they are super not tanky )

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Good changes proposed, there's a few things I'd like to mention:

 

Atty

  • For prometheus, I'm comparing Valor to the spiders. Resource wise, upgrading to hero is more costly than a new human unit, so the number of units upgraded in valor should be reduced compared to the spiders. Also, the spiders don't guarantee a kill, whereas valor always guarantee a hero and it is an immediate effect. Given this, I would suggest we only buff the number of human units 3->4. I would buff prometheus another way, which is improving heart of the titans 20% discount -> 25% discount. Turning units into heroes is pretty costly, and often only done to deal with myth units, this should allow for more usage of it in smaller skirmishes of units.

Egyptian

  • Good list of buffs for set. Only one thing I'd keep an eye on, which is the buff to archer's range. I think we've previously buffed slingers range, and this on top of that might mean that they reach the opponents backline with ease. Also, with Sekhmet chariots would go to 26 range, which seems pretty crazy. If set proves to be quite strong, I think we can revert this, but we should test first.
  • I don't think we need to buff Serpent's spear for now, specially if we plan on giving spears a bit more of the attack bonus vs cav. I suggest we leave it at 10% damage and HP,  after this change practically no one played anubis so we haven't properly tested it. This paired with horus, could mean a very rough time for China vs Set, as spears become a hyper efficient unit. So as for Anubis, I would just leave the anubites, snakes, and favor buffs.

Norse

  • For Odin, I think Tyr's huskarls are overperforming. They're pretty tough to kill with building fire, hard to catch with other anti infantry making them probably the best raiding unit in the game. With the recent ram buff, I think we should tone down lone wanderer 10%->5%, meaning that huskarls won't dodge arrows and shouldn't be so quick to evade the anti infantry (they'll still outrun all the other infantry except Oranos' katapeltes). 
  • Raiding cav look a little bit too resource efficient, specially after we nerfed crenellations. What do you think about bringing their hack armour 20% to 15%?
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On 10/14/2022 at 3:58 PM, LightningVolt said:

Atty

  • For prometheus, I'm comparing Valor to the spiders. Resource wise, upgrading to hero is more costly than a new human unit, so the number of units upgraded in valor should be reduced compared to the spiders. Also, the spiders don't guarantee a kill, whereas valor always guarantee a hero and it is an immediate effect. Given this, I would suggest we only buff the number of human units 3->4. I would buff prometheus another way, which is improving heart of the titans 20% discount -> 25% discount. Turning units into heroes is pretty costly, and often only done to deal with myth units, this should allow for more usage of it in smaller skirmishes of units.

Good point about the value of Valor. I've scaled it back to 4 human unit conversions, added your proposed discount improvement, and a slight increase to HP for Prometheans and their offspring.

On 10/14/2022 at 3:58 PM, LightningVolt said:

Egyptian

  • Good list of buffs for set. Only one thing I'd keep an eye on, which is the buff to archer's range. I think we've previously buffed slingers range, and this on top of that might mean that they reach the opponents backline with ease. Also, with Sekhmet chariots would go to 26 range, which seems pretty crazy. If set proves to be quite strong, I think we can revert this, but we should test first.
  • I don't think we need to buff Serpent's spear for now, specially if we plan on giving spears a bit more of the attack bonus vs cav. I suggest we leave it at 10% damage and HP,  after this change practically no one played anubis so we haven't properly tested it. This paired with horus, could mean a very rough time for China vs Set, as spears become a hyper efficient unit. So as for Anubis, I would just leave the anubites, snakes, and favor buffs.

I am also a bit worried about over-buffing Set, but at first the patch will be in an experimental state where can revert anything, as you suggested. 

I've scaled back the Anubis stuff to not include a buff to Serpent Spear, but also removed the HP buff for Anubites as I feel arrow dodging will already provide what they need here after testing it some recently.

On 10/14/2022 at 3:58 PM, LightningVolt said:

Good changes proposed, there's a few things I'd like to mention:

 

Norse

  • For Odin, I think Tyr's huskarls are overperforming. They're pretty tough to kill with building fire, hard to catch with other anti infantry making them probably the best raiding unit in the game. With the recent ram buff, I think we should tone down lone wanderer 10%->5%, meaning that huskarls won't dodge arrows and shouldn't be so quick to evade the anti infantry (they'll still outrun all the other infantry except Oranos' katapeltes). 
  • Raiding cav look a little bit too resource efficient, specially after we nerfed crenellations. What do you think about bringing their hack armour 20% to 15%?

I'd be willing to scale back on the Odin-Tyr Huskarls, via Lone Wanderer, but I believe this tech should then also affect Hersirs, Bogsveigirs, and Heroes of Ragnarok. So all foot soldiers, rather than Infantry. This will help Odin immensely with defending against fast myth units and flyers, too.

Also, having had some Odin experiences lately I have also changed my mind a bit on the Hill Fort buff topic. I now believe that this would be best suited as a buff to Heimdall, who already has the focus on defenses - we can simply make the Tower effects of Safeguard affect Hill Forts, too. This would be an interesting option for Loki as well, where he could opt for the newly buffed Hersirs, or stick with the Heimdall slow push.

I'm not ready at the moment to nerf Raiding cavalry at the moment as outside of the Baldr variant, they don't see a huge amount of use, and they seem to be most heavily used against Isis. The other reason for that is also because I intend to change up Isis, see below response to Legend.

On 10/14/2022 at 1:57 AM, _TheLegend_ said:

spear  +10% bonus damage against  cav
great of the fifty nerf from 100%  to 90% bonus damage against cav 

(spears are generally  bad vs their own counter which  makes full cav  with counter cav just too good )

camels 10% damage against seige
( for egy their only way to deal with seige or balista and towers is  spears but spears loses to pathing and  towers  and not to mention they are super not tanky )

As discussed on Discord, Isis has many matchups where she can excel, but we can all agree that basic Spearmen (no Horus) and basic Camels (no Osiris or Ra) don't perform nearly as well as their counterparts in other civs. Part of this is because Egypt is designed around the fact that the Pharaoh helps provide a larger economy that you can then convert into Mercenaries, and overwhelm the enemy. Getting there takes a lot of skill and use of the heavy defenses the civ offers (Citadel Walls and Ballista Towers). 

I think many would rather that the extreme power spikes and weaknesses were smoothed out, so that we can keep the game length in check - no one expects Isis players that opt for Osiris to focus on mostly defense for 30 minutes before they can deliver game-ending blows with Roc drops and mercs.

So what we can do here is to actually go with your recommendations and beef up the anti-cavalry core of the army, while taking away some of the late power spikes that are so hard for all the other civs to deal with. Keep in mind, the patch already proposes a significant amount of buffs that affect Isis here - through Anubis (also helping Spearmen), Nephtys (with Isis being the only one to have a regenerating Son of Osiris) in the game.

In particular, I'm looking to reduce the impact of Hathor mercenaries - the life span from Medjay going down a bit (25 -> 20s) would allow people to retreat better. Roc drops have undergone a huge evolution in the last few years, with people carrying complex escort groups, the animation resets and more. This unit is absolutely worth 4 population considering what it provides. Lastly, toning down Phoenixes a bit further (train time from egg) would allow people to counter them better, which is especially important to compensate for once the Necropolis favor buff goes through.

In exchange for reducing these power spikes, we can boost basic Spearmen and Camelry without entering another era where Isis is the dominant, most played god by everyone at the top level.

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