Ey, so I was messing around in the editor making a custom scenario, and was experimenting with some custom techs to improve defensive structures. Of all the changes I made, the only one that stuck with me as needing to be in the base game was increased speed of Bombard Tower projectiles. One could argue that most/all non Spanish/Portuguese gunpowder projectiles could be faster, but BBTs in particular strike me as essential to fulfilling their role well. (Versus cannon galleon projectile speed, which isn’t really important for their largely anti-building role).
The fact is that while BBTs look impressive and have a high cost, their performance doesn’t really live up to the hype, particularly vs. fast units. I’ve had plenty of games (BF TGs mostly) where even a base fairly heavily fortified with BBTs fails to have nearly the desired stopping power against cav/eagle raids. To zoom in on a specific instance, suppose an enemy hussar is targeted by the tower. The hussar makes a minor shift in trajectory (running into an obstacle, changing direction to acquire a target) and the shot misses. During the reload time, the hussar has time to kill a vill. As the next shot is fired, the hussar again moves slightly to attack another nearby villager (this is unit behavior, no micro involved), and the tower misses again. Another villager or 2 go down before a shot finally connects. I’ve seen this kind of situation play out enough that I have to think that their average DPS, between overkill and missing, is far lower than it appears to be.
Anyway, as a solution, I would 2-2.5x the speed of bombard tower projectiles so that they actually hit their intended targets the great majority of the time. This is a simple performance feature that is kind of a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. Inevitably someone is going to think that this would make them “OP,” because that’s how the internet dot com works. But the way I see it, this doesn’t improve them at all beyond their intended anti-personnel function; it’s just making them as good as they appear on paper (minus overkill). They will remain useless vs rams, trebs, and bbcs, and still be susceptible to storming by melee units, only now, they might be less of a questionable investment.
I guess this is the internet, so I have to point out that yes, BBT with such fast cannon balls would be OP. No one makes keeps over them, despite arrows being so much faster. And Portuguese BBT were deemed OP when arquebus would give them a projectile speed of 3.5, which is much less than the speed of 6/7.5 (that latter value is faster than arrows btw) you think would be fair for them.
I thought the complaint of arquebus was mainly 100% accuracy generally, but honestly I believe bombard towers need that rather than faster projectiles have them be 100% accurate. having the tower actually giving out its dps while still being slow enough to dodge but at the same time being 100% accurate is generally needed.
It’s too much wasted dps with all of those inaccurate missed, slow, shots.
Maybe? I’m still not really seeing the “why” of that argument, unless missing frequently is perceived as an important part of the identity/balance of BBTs, which just seems like bad design to me, because you’re wowed by this huge damage number, but it’s incredibly hard to measure how effective it actually is (if it would be OP, just lower the attack somewhat, so that the player can be assured they’re at least getting the value of the displayed DPS most of the time, as opposed to sometimes doing 120 damage and sometimes doing 0). There’s no other unit that predictably misses a lot of its shots due to slow projectile speed, and missing is a lot more impactful on a high-dps high reload time unit. I can understand how 2xing the speed of projectiles would be OP for siege units (e.g. 2xing mangonel-line projectiles would make it nigh impossible for archers to dodge), but defensive buildings aren’t really meant to be dodgeable, as they can’t really be microed.
True, but nobody makes keeps anyway except Japanese or Koreans…mayyybe Britons. Non-specialist keeps are arguably underpowered for different reasons (mediocre DPS even with arrowslits). It’s also worth pointing out that it takes more res to get FU Keeps (500 for Arrowslits, 350 for guard tower 850 for keep = 1700, vs 1200 for Bomb Tower) and most people aren’t going to bother with that unless for some reason they made a lot of still-standing towers in Feudal/Castle. So between the higher upgrade cost of towers and their much lower DPS, it’s no wonder people don’t make them, but that doesn’t automatically mean the BBT is in a great place either. I also favor the hypothesis that BBTs fit in the gray zone of being somewhat weaker than (even good) players realize, but not so weak as to demonstrate conspicuous uselessness that would stop players from ever making them.
TBH I see the slow bombard tower shot speed as a relic of AoK/AoC, when gunpowder units were perceived as being these immensely powerful endgame technologies, when in reality they’re decent, but not always better than generic archer type units, and sometimes significantly worse. For some gunpowder units, it’s been a long wait to make those units more accessible, either by improving their performance, or making them more accessible by removing needlessly inconvenient prerequisites. Heck, I’m old enough to remember when there was a hand cannon tech you’d research after Chemistry to unlock HCs. It also wasn’t even that long ago (DE Era) that the tech to make cannon galleons (after chemistry) was removed. Improving the bombard tower would be a similar, much needed change.
Well it makes intuitive sense for gunpowder projectiles to move faster than arrows. Not that they need to. If 2-2.5x times the current speed is too much, and I don’t think that it would be, at least a 50% speed boost to BT projectiles is called for.
I don’t believe so, although this isn’t a great gauge of how effective they are vs. their invariably moving targets. As I alluded to in the OP, even with predictive firing, a slow projectile means that the smallest deviation in a unit’s movement from the predicted course usually means the shot misses. With units bumping into each other, acquiring targets, or stopping their course to attack something (or starting again after being stationary during an attack), this is surprisingly common, and is exacerbated by fast units like eagles and cav.
TBH in the editor BBTs with blast radius and faster projectiles are awesome. Not that I think they need both, since blast radius may make them unintendedly strong vs. massed units, even with lower damage. That’s why I suggested faster projectile speed as it does a lot to solve the accuracy problem without expanding their purpose in ways that may not be intended.
AoK BBTs were something alright. I’m sympathetic to maybe +5 vs rams, but I don’t even know that they need that; my priority is not having them be terrible vs. fast raiding units (because who even needs Shrivamshas when ordinary cav can “dodge” BBT shots). BBTs (and most defensive buildings’) role isn’t really to auto-defend your town from siege, it’s more to whittle down raiding units and buy you time to get an army there (e.g. so that Onager cut + Cav/Eagle raid isn’t always a game-ending move).
I’m also in favor of giving them a little bonus damage against Rams but if you have some melee units around and use them the right way they can be extremely strong. What does “the right way” mean? I’d say today MbL showed us (once again) how to perfectly make them work in two games in a row against Hera. I mean sure, he’s one of the best pro players in the game and not everyone can make them work like he does, but man he made them look crazy strong.
Here’s the link for everyone who wants to enjoy those amazingly entertaining games (start at 1:00:26 with Turks vs Berbers and then at 1:34:02 Byzantines vs Slavs).
Eh, the more I watch games with Bombard Towers, the more I think they’re just win-more buildings.
In both games the player with BBT was already winning at that point, sure towers sped up his win, but ultimately he would have won anyway.
Just look at the map, how much map control the winner already had.
On the opposite side, they do almost nothing to deter raids as even un-micromanaged hussar/light cav can dodge multiple times the cannon balls.
Yasama keeps are way better for that, and that’s a shame.
As defensive structures, they’re at their strongest spot in water maps I think.
Possibly. Even then, nothing about that is intuitive and towers with heated shot fill that role just fine (i.e. Keeps with HS are also strongest in this situation). BBTs are just needlessly bad vs. fast land units.
Read past the first 3 words and you might just find out.
all it needs some area attack and melee dmg thats all. 55 melee dmg with some projectile more speed but without homing and area attack would do the job.
Basicly BBT’s should be bombard cannons on top of a tower.