Leafcutter balance feedback and suggestions

#1
Hello,
I played 3.1 and 3.2 a lot especially in insane, I tried a lot of strategy and I came up with some suggestions for balance to allow more strategy to be viable

1st let's sum up the main stats of the ants
minor:
HP:25/35/45
dmg:0.6/0.6/0.8
carry:7/8/9
media
HP:90/105/120
dmg:3/4.5/6
carry:15/17/20
major
HP:200/240/400
dmg:12/15/22
carry:16/16/16
total heal(taunt major): 20/25/30

some noticeable creatures:
Big mantis 900HP 80atk 500heal not stunnable
Big cricket 650hp 30atk not stunnable
medium cricket 500hp 25atk stunnable

taunt vs stun:
I think taunt is the better option as it seems to me to be always as good as stun or better and the level 3 passive seems better for taunt than for stun majors.
most threatening creatures aren't stunnable and vs small packs the taunt allow your major to save your media's life while remaining healthy.
the only advantage for stun majors is that it allow them to kill medium cricket without allowing them to use their AOE and as you can see medium cricket are nearly as powerful as big ones

minors:
I think minors are way too weak they carry only 7 leaf and they are slowed when they do it, anything can 1 shot them, they are only useful at the start and to build the nest/egg replacement, it is the least usefull class of ants sadly.
the upgrade aren't worth it you only get +1 to the capacity and they remain weak and slow anyway.
I suggest to buff minors and especially their upgrade, for example removing the slow from carriage at lvl3 and increasing their capacity to something like 7/13/19 would give them a lot more utility

Media:
lvl 1 Media is the strongest ant you can get right now, it's a decent fighter and the best harvester by far. However upgrading them isn't worth it IMO because you better build more of them instead to increase you harvesting power and snowball the game
I suggest to nerf the level 1 media carriage and maybe buff slightly the lvl 2 and 3 media carriage.

Major:
same harvesting power than a media, but a lot stronger for fighting, their upgrade lvl 2 isn't worth it but the lvl 3 upgrade is really good and balanced compared to just build more lvl1 Major because the stats gain is huge and they get a nice ability to tank for your precious media ants.

Army composition: I tried full media, full major, and mix with differents proportion for both 3.1 and 3.2 and the best strategy seems to build as much media as possible with a few majors to be able to kill what you need to kill which lead to around 10-20% major for 3.1 and 30-50% majors for 3.2
with full media you lose too much ressources while fighting
with full majors you lose too much harvesting power early on but you gain in efficiency, you spend less ressources in respawn overall and mantis can't heal off from your army. However Majors are big and bodyblock each others so without media you lose dps because media/majors do not bodyblock each other.

Last thing: it is a bit sad that the army ant in 3.2 is so weak in insane, the difficulty comes mainly from the OP bugs that become unfightable really fast, maybe it would be more enjoyable if running through the army ant was more challenging forcing you to get more food and a bigger army to defeat them. I often end up stacking my army on their spawn while waiting for the end of the day and then hide in the nest at night because the night bugs aren't contestable after night 3.

Conclusion: I think upgrades need a buff overall to compete with the startegy of just building more ants, minors need a big buff because they are nearly useless and this buff could be compensated by nerfing lvl 1 media which are way too powerful. A slight buff for stun major would be nice as well, like giving them increased dmg at level 3 to compensate for the lack of tankiness compared to taunt majors and the immunity to stuns from most threatening creatures.

Sorry if it feels focused on the downsides, theses 2 levels are crazy good and really really well made, thank you very much for your amazing work, i can't stop going back to play them over and over again!
 
#3
19 without speed-drop will make minor straight up better than media in harvesting, they cost 60 to get to Lv3, and they have 380 speed while media cost 80 at Lv1 with 300 speed. In my opinion:
Change media carry to 14/18/22.
Change minor carry to 7/10/13 with speed-drop removed, so Lv1 media worth 20 more than Lv3 worker just for their combat ability.
Also, maybe change stunt major Lv3 effect from slow to have damage boost on non-stunable creatures.
 
#4
In personal opinion, I think the media are too expensive, being worth 4 minors.
19 without speed-drop will make minor straight up better than media in harvesting, they cost 60 to get to Lv3, and they have 380 speed while media cost 80 at Lv1 with 300 speed. In my opinion:
Change media carry to 14/18/22.
Change minor carry to 7/10/13 with speed-drop removed, so Lv1 media worth 20 more than Lv3 worker just for their combat ability.
1 media has the harvesting power of around 3 minors because it carry 2+ time more and walk 2 time faster when it carry leaves, we're already close to the point where you invest 20 more for the same harvesting force. The fighting ability is worth more than 20 imo because you will have to defend the minors and kill the creatures anyway so you will lose the same amount of food by fighting with media/majors to secure the trails and you will lose additionnal food if you use minors because they insta die to anything. You will need more egg replacement workers as well by using minors to harvest.
right now i think minors are only worth to use in low difficulty for 3.1 because there are not many creatures to kill however you can always get away with full media as you don't lose too much harvesting power and you get an army that is stronger by a lot (to the point where I could consitently contest harvesting site in insane in 3.1). IDK about the exacts numbers to balance this but minors need either to be more efficent at fighting or at harvesting to be worth it and to avoid a difficulty drop, an eventual minor buff need a media nerf as well.
Also, maybe change stunt major Lv3 effect from slow to have damage boost on non-stunable creatures.
Good idea.
 
#5
I have been thinking about this. Let's treat the time to go from nest to a plant as 1 min. All ants start at 300 speed, but minor have speed drop when they carry, I assume half their speed. So for one trip, 1 media carry 15 per 2 min or 7.5 per min, while 4 minor carry 28 per 3 min or about 9.3 per min, so by number minor are actually better than media with the same cost. And 1 major is cheaper for combat purpose than 2 media. I need to test if I can win 3.1 without using any media on hard. 3.2 need much more combat power that no media style cannot work. Insane player please try if you can win with the least media possible.
 
#6
1 media has the harvesting power of around 3 minors because it carry 2+ time more and walk 2 time faster when it carry leaves, we're already close to the point where you invest 20 more for the same harvesting force. The fighting ability is worth more than 20 imo because you will have to defend the minors and kill the creatures anyway so you will lose the same amount of food by fighting with media/majors to secure the trails and you will lose additionnal food if you use minors because they insta die to anything. You will need more egg replacement workers as well by using minors to harvest.
right now i think minors are only worth to use in low difficulty for 3.1 because there are not many creatures to kill however you can always get away with full media as you don't lose too much harvesting power and you get an army that is stronger by a lot (to the point where I could consitently contest harvesting site in insane in 3.1). IDK about the exacts numbers to balance this but minors need either to be more efficent at fighting or at harvesting to be worth it and to avoid a difficulty drop, an eventual minor buff need a media nerf as well.
Good idea.
I like the composition. So in my eyes the leafcutters are a tactical army of ants. Minors get the base up and running and then change to a maintenance role. I need ants to help keep the base up to scratch and keep the medeas/majors spawning. At the start they are cheap and aren't a huge strain on resources if they die. So they are worth it; but I wouldn't have an army of them. I don't compare leafcutters to other colonies because they just have a different makeup with the roles the ants play.
I have been thinking about this. Let's treat the time to go from nest to a plant as 1 min. All ants start at 300 speed, but minor have speed drop when they carry, I assume half their speed. So for one trip, 1 media carry 15 per 2 min or 7.5 per min, while 4 minor carry 28 per 3 min or about 9.3 per min, so by number minor are actually better than media with the same cost. And 1 major is cheaper for combat purpose than 2 media. I need to test if I can win 3.1 without using any media on hard. 3.2 need much more combat power that no media style cannot work. Insane player please try if you can win with the least media possible.
You will lose without medea on insane if not hard. Again; if I treat the leafcutters as an adaptable ant colony. Think of the minors as a fill-in ant. Cheap at the start. Gets the base up and running. Then becomes a support ant. Medeas are the harvesting staple. One thing your formula doesn't account for is enemies. The slower you are; the more opportunity you have to come in to contact with an enemy. Especially since enemies path around the map. Also; medeas have enough hp to take a hit and can outpace most enemies therefore survive an encounter with combat turned off getting the food back safely. Time lost by minors from death blows their harvesting time out of the water - since they can't outpace an enemy if 1 minor gets caught they usually all die. And I wouldn't start stacking majors because they are a combat ant. They aren't worth the cost to make them as harvesters and the cost to replace them is too high to have them constantly in danger while harvesting.
 
#8
I like the composition. So in my eyes the leafcutters are a tactical army of ants. Minors get the base up and running and then change to a maintenance role. I need ants to help keep the base up to scratch and keep the medeas/majors spawning. At the start they are cheap and aren't a huge strain on resources if they die. So they are worth it; but I wouldn't have an army of them. I don't compare leafcutters to other colonies because they just have a different makeup with the roles the ants play.

You will lose without medea on insane if not hard. Again; if I treat the leafcutters as an adaptable ant colony. Think of the minors as a fill-in ant. Cheap at the start. Gets the base up and running. Then becomes a support ant. Medeas are the harvesting staple. One thing your formula doesn't account for is enemies. The slower you are; the more opportunity you have to come in to contact with an enemy. Especially since enemies path around the map. Also; medeas have enough hp to take a hit and can outpace most enemies therefore survive an encounter with combat turned off getting the food back safely. Time lost by minors from death blows their harvesting time out of the water - since they can't outpace an enemy if 1 minor gets caught they usually all die. And I wouldn't start stacking majors because they are a combat ant. They aren't worth the cost to make them as harvesters and the cost to replace them is too high to have them constantly in danger while harvesting.
My leafcutter strategy is to have group 1 being minor ants with combat turned off, group 2 being media ants with combat turned on, the rest of the groups are major ant groups (around 7 majors strong each).
I always send groups 1 and 2 to the same spot on the map to harvest while I have the major ants blocking the paths so the line cannot get attacked. Should an attacker still get near my harvesting line the medea will either kill that enemy or keep it just out of the line while a group of majors closes in to clear that enemy and my minor ants will just keep going. I also use the majors and media ants as a big group to clear harvesting grounds or kill strong opponents.
 
#9
Unlike in other missions (2.1 is an example), in the leafcutter missions the environment spawns increase over time, food is not renewable, on insane difficulty the number of enemy creatures will jump through the roof after just a few days.

Also, in other missions the player's objective is to survive against the environment and/or spawned attack waves. In the leafcutter missions the player is fighting against the leafcutter opponent or the army ants, they too are hostile to the environment creatures. On insane difficulty the environment spawns will turn most parts of the map inaccesable after the first few days, all while leaf on the player's side is starting to run low. (Try battle arena mode, 100 lvl 1 majors vs 3 large crickets. Large crickets in groups will be everywhere after a few days.)

Insane difficulty changes the leafcutter missions from a struggle against the opponent into a race against time. Trying to beat the mission before the world is flooded with strong enemies. I think the game would be more fun if insane and hard difficulties did not make the environment more dangerous but instead focussed on making the leafcutter opponent or the army ant swarm stronger. (Think of being more agressive for the leafcutter opponent, or the army ants spawning more ants and being slightly less sensetive to losing ants.)
 
#10
Hello,
I played 3.1 and 3.2 a lot especially in insane, I tried a lot of strategy and I came up with some suggestions for balance to allow more strategy to be viable

1st let's sum up the main stats of the ants
minor:
HP:25/35/45
dmg:0.6/0.6/0.8
carry:7/8/9
media
HP:90/105/120
dmg:3/4.5/6
carry:15/17/20
major
HP:200/240/400
dmg:12/15/22
carry:16/16/16
total heal(taunt major): 20/25/30

some noticeable creatures:
Big mantis 900HP 80atk 500heal not stunnable
Big cricket 650hp 30atk not stunnable
medium cricket 500hp 25atk stunnable

taunt vs stun:
I think taunt is the better option as it seems to me to be always as good as stun or better and the level 3 passive seems better for taunt than for stun majors.
most threatening creatures aren't stunnable and vs small packs the taunt allow your major to save your media's life while remaining healthy.
the only advantage for stun majors is that it allow them to kill medium cricket without allowing them to use their AOE and as you can see medium cricket are nearly as powerful as big ones

minors:
I think minors are way too weak they carry only 7 leaf and they are slowed when they do it, anything can 1 shot them, they are only useful at the start and to build the nest/egg replacement, it is the least usefull class of ants sadly.
the upgrade aren't worth it you only get +1 to the capacity and they remain weak and slow anyway.
I suggest to buff minors and especially their upgrade, for example removing the slow from carriage at lvl3 and increasing their capacity to something like 7/13/19 would give them a lot more utility

Media:
lvl 1 Media is the strongest ant you can get right now, it's a decent fighter and the best harvester by far. However upgrading them isn't worth it IMO because you better build more of them instead to increase you harvesting power and snowball the game
I suggest to nerf the level 1 media carriage and maybe buff slightly the lvl 2 and 3 media carriage.

Major:
same harvesting power than a media, but a lot stronger for fighting, their upgrade lvl 2 isn't worth it but the lvl 3 upgrade is really good and balanced compared to just build more lvl1 Major because the stats gain is huge and they get a nice ability to tank for your precious media ants.

Army composition: I tried full media, full major, and mix with differents proportion for both 3.1 and 3.2 and the best strategy seems to build as much media as possible with a few majors to be able to kill what you need to kill which lead to around 10-20% major for 3.1 and 30-50% majors for 3.2
with full media you lose too much ressources while fighting
with full majors you lose too much harvesting power early on but you gain in efficiency, you spend less ressources in respawn overall and mantis can't heal off from your army. However Majors are big and bodyblock each others so without media you lose dps because media/majors do not bodyblock each other.

Last thing: it is a bit sad that the army ant in 3.2 is so weak in insane, the difficulty comes mainly from the OP bugs that become unfightable really fast, maybe it would be more enjoyable if running through the army ant was more challenging forcing you to get more food and a bigger army to defeat them. I often end up stacking my army on their spawn while waiting for the end of the day and then hide in the nest at night because the night bugs aren't contestable after night 3.

Conclusion: I think upgrades need a buff overall to compete with the startegy of just building more ants, minors need a big buff because they are nearly useless and this buff could be compensated by nerfing lvl 1 media which are way too powerful. A slight buff for stun major would be nice as well, like giving them increased dmg at level 3 to compensate for the lack of tankiness compared to taunt majors and the immunity to stuns from most threatening creatures.

Sorry if it feels focused on the downsides, theses 2 levels are crazy good and really really well made, thank you very much for your amazing work, i can't stop going back to play them over and over again!
Actually the carry numbers given are the amount the ants can harvest. They can carry more, a minor worker can carry a size 15 leaf.
Just an idea I want to float here:
An option for media ants to cut without carrying the leaf and an option for minors to carry without cutting. It would combine the strengths of both ants. The media ants do what they're good at, cutting large leafes. The minors have the vast numbers to carry everything back to the nest that is pre-cut. 20190902155059_1.jpg
Note how one ant is carrying a much larger leaf than the others. It was picked up on the slope where a group of media ran into a fight and they didn't pick the leaf up again.
 
Last edited:
#11
Actually the carry numbers given are the amount the ants can harvest. They can carry more, a minor worker can carry a size 15 leaf.
Just an idea I want to float here:
An option for media ants to cut without carrying the leaf and an option for minors to carry without cutting. It would combine the strengths of both ants. The media ants do what they're good at, cutting large leafes. The minors have the vast numbers to carry everything back to the nest that is pre-cut.
Pretty sure they do this in nature too.
 
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